Magic Roadshow #191

MAGIC ROADSHOW #191  –   January 2018

Yes.. I’m back. If you read my last email, you know how and why. My goal to get to 200 issues took a sour turn.. and then corrected course.. and here we are.

Two things.. First, I want to thank our friend Werner Miller for compiling page after page of effects from past Roadshows. I KNOW how much work was involved, and I’m so appreciative. He has contributed greatly to past issues of the Roadshow.. and has now contributed to our hope of publishing two hundred issues.

Secondly, it will work like this: I have included several pages of new material.. effects, free PDF’s, and reviews. I have then included a link to a PDF containing about 50 pages of nothing but effects from past issues. If you download the link below, it includes everything. If you download the link at the beginning of the EFFECTS section, it contains nothing but effect after effect. Your choice. In time there will be, probably, ten PDF’s of nothing but effects.. each about 50 pages in length.

For those of you who miss your video tutorials, you can still find a wealth of effects at my two video blogs. Videos were added for years, and most are still viable..

Card Tricks and Magical Mysteries video tutorials blog –
Magic Roadshow video tutorials blog –

Archives.. I have been working on my new archive page at . You’ll see it in the header menu. I have included most of the issues from #104 to the present. I’m still working on 1 to 103, and hope to have them up by this time next month.

Email Me.. (much better than replying to this email )

Download This issue as a PDF  –  MAGIC ROADSHOW 191

( This issue 30054 words & 91 pages. There’s a LOT of work in this issue. I hope you enjoy it !! )


  • Inspector #1953 – An Effect by Paul Lelekis
    Quidnunc Plus – Paul Gordon… Review by Rick Carruth
    Gold Dust Sampler – Free Paul Gordon PDF
    Bob Solari’s Psychic Card Paddle – Review by Rick Carruth
    Invisible Triumph (Gimmicks and Online Instructions) Review by Rick Carruth
    Paul Harris ‘Self Service’ – Free PDF
    Werner Miller – More Tricks Without Names – Trick #18
    *Nothing But Effects – PDF

~ Can I Read Your Mind ? ~
~ Disappearing Act – a Poor Man’s Raven ~
~ Gamblers Delight ~
~ The Toothless Wonder’s Solid thru Solid … ~
~ “X” – Rated ~
~ Boondoogle ~
~ Hot Coil ~
~ Just a Touch ~
~ In The Pocket Miracle ~
~ Extreme Mathematics ~
~ Two Faced —
~ Magic.. times 6 ~
~ Flick Your Telekinetic Pen ~
~ Card in Wallet Prediction
~ Very Predictable
~ Leary’s Letter
~ Magic Slate
~ Stapled
~ Buckled
~ Dice Vision
~ ‘Die’ Vernon Mental Magic
~ Pentagram Magic
~ K.I.S.S.
~ Brainwave for Dummies
~ Make it your Own..
~ Just a Touch ~
~ Heads or Tails?
~ Coin through Ashtray
~ Hole in One
~ Quickie
~ Nuts !
~ I’ll Name that Card in One..
~ The Knife Thru the Jacket..
~ High Five ~
~ The Card From The Pocket
~ Card to Wallet… ( without the Card and the Wallet )
~Times 5
~ My Book Test
~ Mind Mirror
~ An Undeniable Truth
~ Sonic Switch
~ My Card to Pocket – ( A closely guarded secret – until now )
~ Simple Prediction
~ One Ahead – Card Effect


Inspector #1953 – An Effect by Paul Lelekis

Introduction for Inspector #1953

I came up with this trick, years ago while “tooling” around with the Knife Through Coat effect and it’s a lot of fun to perform. It is a great effect for the children and the parents will love it too! I use it as a “sure-fire” introduction to a table with children when table-hopping in restaurants. Those who love table-hopping know how difficult it is to sometimes approach a table.

There are many ways to approach tables – but one of the best ways is to approach the children. Parents love it when you entertain their children and this automatically takes them out of the “lime-light”…you are there to entertain them!

As you approach the table, you smile at the parents, give them a “nod” and then immediately focus your attention on the children. Proceed with the below effect…and someone will chase you down and give you a nice tip after performing!

This effect should be performed with “flare” and a lot of enthusiasm! Enjoy!

INSPECTOR #1953 (From “A Fix on Six” by Paul A. Lelekis @

EFFECT: The performer introduces himself and suddenly notices a shirt or jacket that “reminds” him of a time when he was a fabric inspector at a clothing mill!
The performer then demonstrates how he used to “test” fabrics by poking around with the shirt or jacket of a child present.
Suddenly the magician’s thumb pokes right through the fabric of the child’s shirt! Oh no! The performer is overly apologetic. The magician then magically “mends” the hole – to the relief of all! This is a lot of fun and is very easy to do! Play this up!

Of course, you need a Thumb Tip (T.T.). I put one on my right thumb and begin my presentation. I’ll give my patter, below. I will present this as an opening effect, as I normally perform while table-hopping in restaurants.


“Hi everyone! I just noticed that your son (or daughter) has a shirt (or coat, jacket, etc.) that looks like the same weave at the mill where I used to be inspector!” (Begin to examine the fabric by pulling at it a little bit!)

“Have you ever seen the little strips of paper in one of the pockets that says ‘Inspected by # so and so?’ I used to be Inspector #1953! Have you ever seen my work?” (You will be surprised at how many people will nod their heads, yes!)

“It was my job to find any flaws in the print or weave of the fabric! I used to do this inspecting thing all day long but I got yelled at all the time because sometimes I damaged the fabric!”

“Oops! Oh no! I did it again! I’m so sorry! Please let me fix this! PHEWW! There – it’s fixed! You know, whenever I did this – I always used magic to repair the damage! But, I got fired anyway! Oh well – on to bigger and better things!”

NOTE: Below, under METHOD: I’ve given the actions that will coincide with the patter above.

NOTES: Let me begin by saying – whatever your initial thoughts are concerning this routine – forget them and JUST DO IT! If you are restaurant magician – heed the below advice…

Parents, as well as the kids, laugh so hard at this routine that you have an automatic opening for further performances at that table. Also, all of the tables within ear-shot, will welcome you to their table!

Table-hoppers will know how difficult it is sometimes, to approach people. I always use the children as an easy “in” to perform at a table. I then perform this little effect at a brisk pace.

I ignore the adults and act as though only the children are present! Most parents love the fact that their kids are receiving attention – instead of them! The children will almost always welcome a performer and immediately become intrigued!

This same advice works for sponge balls, coins or any other type of magic that is geared for children!

METHOD: As I begin the above patter, I have already placed the T.T. on my right thumb.
At a certain point in the patter (paragraph #3), I start to “check out” the fabric on the child’s shirt or coat.

As I continue the patter, both of my hands are holding onto the fabric with my fingers of my right hand on top and my thumb (with T.T) below, out of sight! (See 1.1) My left is just the opposite – fingers below and out of sight and the thumb on top.

I then transfer the T.T. from my right thumb into my left fingers with the opening of the T.T. facing upward. My left fingers are grasping the T.T. below the fabric.
Your left thumb kind of holds the fabric out flat with the opening of the T.T. pressed up against it. This “frees” up your RH. (See 1.2)

As you tell of your “duties” as a fabric inspector, you suddenly act as though you accidentally pushed your right thumb right through the fabric! This is exactly the point where you say, “Oops! Oh no!” Your right thumb has pressed down on the fabric and directly into the thumb tip below! (See 1.3)

This is a very surrealistic moment! The spectators are unsure of what to do or think – so they laugh hysterically!

As you say, “I did it again!” turn your right palm upwards so that the T.T. is in view and wiggle it for a couple of seconds and then turn your right hand palm down again so that the T.T. is out of view.

It will appear as if your thumb has pushed right through the fabric! Do this quickly (wiggling your thumb) and then immediately turn your right thumb downward so it is, again, out of sight!

Say this loudly and act as though you are horrified at your own clumsy conduct! Look furtively all around as if you were trying to hide your goof! This is where your acting skills come into play!

Pull your right thumb out of the T.T., grasped by the left fingers underneath the fabric. Then place your right fingers over the supposed hole, rubbing that spot as if hiding the hole.

Your right thumb goes back under the fabric (out of site) as you place the T.T back onto your right thumb, assisted by the left fingers.

Rub the spot where the supposed hole is with your right fingers as you say the final line of patter above. Slowly remove your right fingers to show that the hole has been repaired!

Everyone will be very pleased and relieved! PLAY THIS UP! Wait until you see the looks on the spectators’ faces! This is truly a great “ice-breaker”!

Download the PDF with Pictures Here —>>    Inspector

All of Paul’s ebooks can be found at .. Check them out!


Quidnunc Plus – Paul Gordon
Review by Rick Carruth

Paul Gordon’s latest release is a two DVD set titled.. QUIDNUNC PLUS. Many of you know Paul from some of his past works, including The Gold Dust Trilogy, Quidnunc and Article 52. DVDs include Live In Action, Gold Dust Live 3-DVD set and Quidnunc Plus 2-DVD set. Plus, lecture downloads with Penguin Live and Murphy’s Magic At The Table Experience. Plus, Paul has lectured at virtually every major magic venue and convention in the world. To quote Magicpedia:

“Paul Gordon is noted as one of the best entertainers (with cards) in the business. As an entertainer/magician, he performs on a regular basis all over the world. Among other magicians, Paul Gordon is known for his books on card magic and memoirs of other magicians (Edward G. Brown, Percy Naldrett and Victor Farelli), as well as reprints of out-of-print classics by Ralph Hull, Rusduck, Ed Marlo, Stanley Collins and Eddie Joseph.”

“Paul Gordon’s performance, books, tricks and dvds have received critical acclaim from the likes of Boris Wild, Rafael Benatar, Dan Harlan, Jon Racherbaumer, Jamy Ian Swiss, Peter Duffie, Harry Lorayne, Jim Sisti, Aldo Colombini, David Regal, Stephen Minch, Max Maven, Tom Craven, Alan Shaxon, Walt Lees, J.C Wagner, Shawn Farquhar, Nick Trost, Mike Powers, Roy Walton, J.K Hartman, Paul Green, Paul Hallas, Jack Parker, Bob Sheets Alex Elmsley, Jack Avis, Steve Beam and many others.”

quid·nunc (‘kwid?n?NGk) noun – “ inquisitive and gossipy person.”.

This release includes 22 effects of varying degrees of difficulty. Only one of the effects is what I would call Advanced, a couple are self-working, a couple more are mathematically inclined, not obviously, and most are what can fairly be called intermediate to advance intermediate. Paul uses these effects to make a living, so they have to be proper.. but not such knuckle busters as to cause pain and fear. There’s a lot of double lifts and Elmsley Counts.. a few top changes in moderation, and a palm or two. But, most of the effects are performable after a small amount of practice by the average card guy.

To quote Murphy’s Magic.. “There are strollers, table tricks, packet tricks, cabaret tricks, unusual tricks… and all are strong tricks.” I have to totally agree. If you’re looking for something new.. but proven.. QUIDNUNC PLUS is it…

Disc 1.. 1:25 minutes

Jeepers Creepers on Heat – Five Ten of Spades magically changes to a Royal Flush, and.. the all black backs change to five different backs. Everything can be made up yourself. This is one of two effects on disc#1 that are normally sold by Penguin individually for $25.00 each.

Dudeney’s Baby Boy – Based on a principle from Colombini, a series of cards are intermixed up and down, laid on the table, reassembled per the spectator, and somehow the one face down card matches a prediction from the magician. Self working and interesting. I actually saw Colombini perform a similar version years ago.. and then forgot it. So glad to be reminded…

Ace in the Hole – The four Aces are separated red and black. Two are placed under the spectators hand and transform into all four Aces. This is one of several effects with the Aces, which helps keep your space small and your performance precise.

Balducci Aces #2 – Created for beginners, this looks like a more complicated effect. It’s a great way to introduce the four Aces, or any four of a kind, for your next effect. Uses a Balducci Force and a bit of business to produce the Aces.

Spectrum – Five cards of one suit and value appear to be double backers. They change to five cards with red backs.. and then to five cards with multi-colored backs. Uses the Omega Count, which is taught, and an Elmsley Count to accomplish something very magical. Penguin sells this effect singularly for $25.00

Travelling Light – Four of a kind are removed from the deck and signed by the spectator. After the four are given to a second spectator for safekeeping, one card appears in the performers trouser pocket.. another appears in the jacket inside pocket, and the last two appear in the jacket pockets. This is a very interesting bit of strolling magic, very commercial, and keeps you so far ahead of the spectator there’s little heat.

Easy Collectors Two – Another four Ace effect. The Aces are set on the table, the spectator freely selects three cards from the deck, and after everything is buried back into the deck… the three selections are found interwoven into the Aces. Based on a Marlo effect.

Darned Pain in the Neck – Looks like a spelling effect on steroids. It’s actually much more sophisticated than that and ultimately, surprisingly, turns into a four Ace reveal. Another of those effects that has considerable commercial value.

Workers Supreme – A Card to Wallet created around what appears to be a very simple effect. If you enjoy card to wallet you’ll appreciate this handling.

Perfect Prediction Premonition – A multiple stage effect that is one of my two favorites on disc one. (along with Dudeney’s Baby Boy). The explanation seems complicated, including two perfect faro shuffles, but Paul offers up a perfect alternative to eliminate the faro’s and make you a hero. Will have neophytes and magicians alike scratching their heads.

75% Confident – Four Jacks are revealed in a packet. When it seems as if four Tens are also going to be revealed.. the performer reveals a Royal Flush. I know.. my description is a tad weak.. but the effect isn’t. You have to see the video!

Disc 2 .. 1hr and 42 min.

Rising Damp – Three indifferent cards and a Jack of Spades changes to four Jacks, all of different suits, in the magician’s hands. Perhaps one of the more challenging effects in this series.. but well worth the effort to learn.

The Churchill Crown – A card is freely chosen by the spectator. The magi places a Churchill crown coin on top of the card, on the table, for safe keeping. The magi then looks through the deck and selects what he alleges to be a mate to the selected card. After stating that the mate to his selection is under the crown, it’s revealed to NOT be a mate… but a miniature mate is revealed in an unusual location instead. Then, suddenly and surprisingly, the indifferent card in the magi’s hand is revealed to be the real mate, producing a sudden surprise ending.

Bluff ACAAN – Sort of a cross between an ACAAN and a fooler. What appears to be an ACAAN is really a well-planned move. Easy to do, quick, and much easier than the real deal.

Dream Away – A non-gaffed version of the Dream Card effect. Paul uses a couple of well-taught sleights to change a signed blue back card in the deck into a signed red back card in the pocket.

The Ultimate Transposition – Based on Sadowitz’ ‘The More Things Change’. Four signed cards are placed in four pockets. Four other cards are shown, and using an Ambitious Cards type routine, the four cards on the table slowly change to the four cards in the pocket.. and the four cards in the pockets are shown to be the four former cards on the table. Another very commercial effect… not easy, but well worth your time and effort.

Ace Tumblers – A card is selected and returned to the deck. The four Aces are shown and returned to the deck. In an instant, the deck is spread and the four Aces are now face up in the center of the deck… and the face down card between the Aces is the selection. Another quick effect that gets everyone’s attention.

Tally-Ho Simplified – Based on the work of Harry Lorayne and a Henry Christ effect, and using Tally Ho cards, this mathematical based effect is self-working and seemingly impossible. Another of my favorites in this series of effects. Much easier to perform than the original and, in my opinion, almost as effective. Christ original produces a royal flush while Paul’s produces the four Nines.. but for a good reason, as explained on the DVD.

Unusual Method Oil & Water – Paul has created a packet effect using 8 red cards and 8 black cards, mixing them in typical oil and water fashion, letting the spectator shuffle the packet, and somehow reverting the packet to its original position. I like the thinking and the effect. Yes, it’s mathematical based.. but it plays real and looks real. Another of my favorites on disc #2.

Witch Mountain Revisited – Four Queens are shown and then placed on the table side by side. The spectator picks a Queen and it’s pushed forward of the other Queens. Three cards are placed on top of each Queen.. and as the packets are each shown, the Queen in that packet has vanished and appears in the forward packet. One Queen, then two, three.. and finally four magically transpose. Very visual effect and not as challenging as some effects. I have to say this, too, is one of my favorites.

Q & A – Several magicians ask Paul a variety of questions.. the most interesting of which is (to me) about his classic EASY ACES. He basically explains Easy Aces and demonstrates the moves. Although he doesn’t go into the same detail his commercial download provides, he gives enough information for the intermediate performer to grasp it. If nothing else, folks will appreciate this wonderful Ace assembly and its true ease of performing.
Paul also reveals he can remember the names of about 200 people.. in the same room, by using Harry Lorayne’s Memory System. His reasons for this bit of magic are obvious and true.
Are small hands a deterrent? Paul discusses his very small hands, and the fact he can’t perform deep palm work… and how he overcame it.
One of the more direct questions is.. “Can you make a living performing card magic?” I’m not going to reveal his answer, but his thinking is encouraging.

Paul makes a living performing card magic. Not many performers in the world can make that claim. Most have to perform a variety of magic and sell tons of effects to make a decent living. Paul’s different.. and his DVD is different. If you’re looking for several new effects to add to your repertoire, Quidnunc Plus provides them in spades.

Available from dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of magic products.
$30.00 .. just over three hours in length.

Although I don’t usually.. I’m including a short promo video of Paul working in the real world, performing a couple of these effects to the delight of his audience. ..

This will give you an idea of Paul’s skill. Note the speed, which you couldn’t achieve if these were truly advanced effects. That’s not a negative statement.. but an affirmation of everything I’m trying to say.


Gold Dust Sampler – Free PDF

Three great effects from VANISH, free for the asking. A great little sampler of Paul Gordon’s work.


Bob Solari’s Psychic Card Paddle – A Review
Rick Carruth

I like pocket tricks. I particularly like pocket tricks if they are actually worthy of a place in my pocket. Bob Solari’s new PSYCHIC CARD PADDLE aptly fills the bill.

Now, I don’t carry traditional paddle tricks.. they didn’t appeal to me, although I have carried Hot Rods from time to time. I like the basic paddle move, and feel it’s one of the more deceptive moves in magic. When performed with skill.. it kills. That said, I’ve seen too many paddle tricks in kids magic kits to risk it.

When Bob Solari contacted me about Psychic Card Paddle, I was intrigued because I know Bob, I know how he thinks, and I knew it had to be something outside the norm. When I actually received my paddle I was still intrigued because it veered away from the traditional use and employed a card trick.. of sorts. Most of you are familiar with the Princess Card Trick I’m sure. The spectator views a layout of six playing cards… thinks of one.. and after pressing a button or flipping a page, the thought-of card has vanished. Psychic Card Paddle uses the same principle, placing images of six small cards on one side of the paddle. After the magi shows ‘both’ sides of the paddle, he asks the spectator to privately think of one card. After appropriate patter, the magi shows the paddle again, both sides, and the selected card has vanished.

I can think of a number of possibilities for Psychic Card Paddle. It can be used as a stand-alone effect, it can be used as a magic prop to help the magician achieve an end, or it can be used as a tool in conjunction with a card effect. Because of its unique nature, you’re open to a gaggle of possibilities.

Most of all… it can be used as a Psychic Card Trick. Just perform it as Bob intended, and you’ll fool the heck out of your audience. I really like that it can be performed for adults and kids alike. I know kids have a problem with playing cards sometimes.. but all you need to do is tell them what you WANT them to do. They don’t have to name the card, so the pressure is off.

Psychic Card Trick is a new product in conjunction with Trickmaster, and comes complete with everything you need to perform it out the package. Careful instructions and illustrations, not only of the use of the paddle, but of the paddle move itself are included.

I can’t resist mentioning Bob was a staple in the New Jersey magic community and operated his shop and mail order business successfully for years. He recently moved to sunny Myrtle Beach, SC.. I’m sure in part to get away from the harsh winter weather. As I write this.. Myrtle Beach is preparing for a major winter storm… snow, sleet, ice and very cold temps. I’m sure Bob will be teaching the southern boys how to drive in it… and working on another cool magic effect.

I recommend Psychic Card Paddle to all my friends and gracious readers. It’s so easy to perform and makes even skilled magicians say.. ” let me see that..! “….

The cost ? $14.95
The site…


Invisible Triumph (Gimmicks and Online Instructions)
Review by Rick Carruth

Jim Krenz and Murphy’s Magic have created what we can fairly call.. ” The worlds easiest Triumph.” This new version was described as both..’virtually self working’ and designed for beginners. The first time I saw the video.. I couldn’t understand how it could be either.

I’m going out on a limb here and admit that I don’t review products I can’t speak good about. That may not sound like the best policy, but there are plenty of reviewers who love to bomb new products, and I don’t. Most magicians work very hard to get their products to market, and I enjoy talking about the positive aspects of magic. That said.. I have to say that thinking of good things to say about some products isn’t easy. It’s not that they’re bad.. it’s just that being ‘really’ positive isn’t easy. I am so grateful to Jim Krenz and Murphy’s Magic for making THIS review easy…

If you have a good, basic understanding of magic and card magic, you are familiar with Triumph. Cards are mixed.. some are turned the opposite direction and mixed again.. leaving the deck in a clearly jumbled state. Some cards are face up.. some cards are face down.. and ultimately, the cards are magically righted. Dai Vernon published a popular version. So did Bob Farmer, Daryl, Ron Bauer, Oz Pearlman and Marlo… to name a few. Theodore Deland published perhaps the first version way back in 1914. So, it’s safe to say Triumph has been around for over a hundred years.

Deland’s commercial version utilized a gaffed deck consisting of half the cards being double backers. From one side, the cards appeared to be alternating face up and face down. When the deck was closed and reversed all the cards were magically facing the same way. Nice, except you certainly couldn’t let the spectator get a good look at the deck.

Jim Krenz’s version is almost as simple. Really, if you spend a short time studying the online instructions.. (less than 20 minutes) you could perform his version straight out the box. I would recommend practicing a little, but we’re talking theoretical here. The cards are normal in appearance. They ARE prepared, making the final results possible, but you would not know they are prepared from looking at them.

The spectator is given a packet of about 12-13 cards and asks to select one. The spectator mixes the cards. The remainder of the deck is divided into three more packets.. and a second packet is mixed into the spectators packet both face up and face down. The two packet mix is spread on the table, showing both sides and showing a fair mix of up and down cards. The third packet.. and then the last packet.. are mixed up and down into the spectator’s packet. You can’t get more fair.

With a bit of magic and flair.. you spread the deck on the table… and show every card face up except one.. the card selected by the spectator. If you followed Jim’s instructions on the video, there is no need to show the deck at this point. The spectator has clearly seen both sides of the deck on at least two ocassions. I recommend going to the link at the bottom and watching a video to get an idea of the fairness of Invisible Triumph..

Two versions are taught in the instructions; a version using a forced card, and a second version using a card mentally selected by the spectator. The second version is totally impromptu, but the first version is perhaps a bit stronger, in my opinion. I recommend INVISIBLE TRIUMPH to anyone who enjoys the Triumph premise and wants a super easy method of entertaining your audience.

You can buy the gimmicked deck and instructions from dealers who carry the Murphy’s Magic line of products. Cost.. $ 30.00


Paul Brook’s  ‘Self Service’ – Free PDF

Several years ago Paul released a free pdf as a ‘Thank You’ to his friends and fans. I ran across it while researching a review I’m working on for the next Roadshow… so I thought I’d give you guys advance notice and a little something to play with.

This is a nice bit of mental magic using a cash register receipt. You’ll appreciate the thinking and the handling. To quote Paul..

” This free effect is a massive “Thanks” to everyone who has supported me. It is also a contribution to everyone in our community. I really want to put something back to the community without charge. I shall endeavor to do this more often. Obviously I shall still be selling effects and books, but I wish to augment this with free effects and ideas.So, in a strange way I want you to share this E-Book and pass it out to anyone who would have an interest in its contents. ”


Werner Miller – More Tricks Without Names
The Mathemagical Medley Continues

Trick #18

You can use the same ten spot cards as in Trick #17, but this time have the values running the other way round (Fig. a).

Invite two spectators to participate, A on your left, B on your right. Remove two more cards from the deck as your “prediction”, an Ace and a Ten, both in the contrasting color, but don’t let see their faces. Place the face-down Ace in front of A, the face-down Ten in front of B. (The rest of the deck is no longer required.)

Close the 10-card spread, turn the cards over, fan the cards face down, and ask A to remove a card, somewhere from the middle (so that the Ace and the Ten both retain their positions). Then address B, and have him also picked out a card from the middle of the fan.

Close the fan. On top of this 8-card packet is still the Ace, on the bottom the Ten. Ask your spectators to note and remember their chosen cards.

Split your eight cards in two 4-card packets, one for each spectator, by dealing two pairs to A (the Ace ends up third from the top down) and tabling the rest (with the Ten still being the bottom card) in front of B.

Request both spectators to drop their chosen cards onto the respective packets, face down, then place A’s packet on B’s and carry out a Monge Shuffle.

Take away the final top card, turn it over (it’s the Ten!), and table it face up. Ask your participants to turn over the two prediction cards. Is one of them a Ten? Yes, B’s card is, so this Ten is obviously referring to B.

Count aloud from 1 to 10, with each number shifting a card singly from top to bottom. Turn over the final top card: It’s B’s card; deal it to B.

Remove the next card, turn it over (it’s the Ace!), and table it face up. Does that mean something, too? Yes, it does: A’s prediction card is an Ace, and because the value of an Ace is 1, you transfer only one card from top to bottom before you turn over the next card: It’s A’s card; deal it to A.

Alternative Version
The Monge Shuffle can be replaced with an Under/Down Deal provided that you deal both 4-card packets singly (so that the Ace becomes the bottom card of A’s packet, and the Ten becomes the top card of B’s packet). After the Under/Down Deal, the final top card (the Ace) is leading to A’s card, the next one (the Ten) is leading to B’s card.

For more (and more elaborate) math-based magic, including the free ‘Sampler’ by Werner Miller visit:



OK.. what better place to start with the effects portion of this issue than with the Elephant in Denmark classic? This was perhaps the first effect I published in the Magic Roadshow back in 2004. I really wish it were not as well known as it is, since the responses I received for this rivaled anything before or after. Everything in this issue.. I think.. was one of my effects, except for the ovious ones and one or two from Leary. Most of these effects were simpler effects too.. but I’ve never had a problem publishing simpler effects, as they are often the basis of many of the great effects in magic..

Other issues will contain effects from magicians around the world.. but we have to start somewhere. I owe much thanks to Werner Miller for compiling all these many effects into several PDF’s. I have over 500 pages of nothing but effects, and I’ve also included a download link to these effects if you wish to save them. In time, you will have 10 PDF’s… and I will have published 200 issues.! The PDF link in the intro section includes everything in this issue, including the reviews, but this link is ONLY the effects.

I’m sure I could sell this compilation of magic.. but I won’t. There is too much magic contributed by others.. and they contributed to the Roadshow knowing it was a work of love for our art. I cannot profit from their generosity.. and YOU will benefit instead, which was my intent from the beginning.

What you read is pretty much as it was first published.. grammar and all. I have NOT made an attempt to edit the material, other than taking advantage of Word and correcting my atrocious spelling.

(.. and No, I did not spell ‘atrocious’ on my own. I had help. I love Word.. and I hate Word. Word makes correcting mistakes so much easier. But likewise, it removes any excuse I may have for NOT correcting my mistakes. I have a long established habit of working in a basic text file (.txt), I love the simplicity, but I have had too many sudden ‘updates’ of some sort on my computer, while I’m
working, resulting in a lost file. It happened once during this issue and I lost two hours of work. Now you would think THAT would be enough to teach me a lesson.)

Download just the effects:     MagicRoadShow effects 01


~ Can I Read Your Mind ? ~
~ Disappearing Act – a Poor Man’s Raven ~
~ Gamblers Delight ~
~ The Toothless Wonder’s Solid thru Solid … ~
~ “X” – Rated ~
~ Boondoogle ~
~ Hot Coil ~
~ Just a Touch ~
~ In The Pocket Miracle ~
~ Extreme Mathematics ~
~ Two Faced —
~ Magic.. times 6 ~
~ Flick Your Telekinetic Pen ~
~ Card in Wallet Prediction
~ Very Predictable
~ Leary’s Letter
~ Magic Slate
~ Stapled
~ Buckled
~ Dice Vision
~ ‘Die’ Vernon Mental Magic
~ Pentagram Magic
~ K.I.S.S.
~ Brainwave for Dummies
~ Make it your Own..
~ Just a Touch ~
~ Heads or Tails?
~ Coin through Ashtray
~ Hole in One
~ Quickie
~ Nuts !
~ I’ll Name that Card in One..
~ The Knife Thru the Jacket..
~ High Five ~
~ The Card From The Pocket
~ Card to Wallet… ( without the Card and the Wallet )
~Times 5
~ My Book Test
~ Mind Mirror
~ An Undeniable Truth
~ Sonic Switch
~ My Card to Pocket – ( A closely guarded secret – until now )
~ Simple Prediction
~ One Ahead – Card Effect


~ Can I Read Your Mind ? ~

Let me conduct a little test. I want you to pick a number from two to ten…

Got it?

OK. Now, I want you to multiply the number times nine (9).

Your number will be somewhere between eighteen and ninety. So I need you to take your two-digit number and add the two digits together… (example…if your number was 43 …. 4 plus 3 equals 7 )

Now, subtract five (5) from your number.

This number will be your KEY number, so remember it…

Associate a letter of the english alphabet (abcdefghi…..) with your key number.

Do this by associating the number one with the letter “A”, number two with “B”, number three with “C” and so forth…

Got your letter ? Good !

Now, Think of a COUNTRY in Europe that begins with that letter. ( If you want, you can think of a state in the United States that begins with that letter.)

Look at the second letter in your countries name and think of an ANIMAL, ( not a bird or fish ) that begins with this letter..

Now that you have your animal picked… think of a color normally associated with your animal. ( example… if you picked a dog, you can think of the color brown, or black, or white..)

You should have a COUNTRY, ANIMAL, and COLOR picked… I have posted my prediction near the bottom of the page !

~ Answer ~
You were thinking of Country-Denmark ( or state – Delaware ), Your animal was an Elephant, and your color was Grey.

Was I right ?

~ Disappearing Act – a Poor Man’s Raven ~

Someone asked me recently what was my favorite way of disappearing an object.

Honestly, my favorite way is something I learned in elementary school from a cousin of mine who happened to be a professional magician.. It is tried and true, and so simple anyone can do it…

Take a safety pin ( snap pin, diaper pin, etcs. ), open it and loop a rubber band through it. Close the pin and then do the same with a second safety pin. Now you have one rubber band with two safety pins on it.

You need a long sleeved shirt or jacket. Roll one of the sleeves up so you can attach one of the safety pins through the fabric at a point about the inside of your elbow.

Roll the sleeve down and reach up your sleeve with your other hand , pulling the second pin down so you can hold it with your thumb, fore finger, and middle finger.

The rubber band will run through your palm so when you turn your hand over the band will be concealed. All your audience will see is the back of your hand and the pen held with your three fingers.

Of course… releasing the safety pin will cause it to shoot up your sleeve!

Experiment with different rubber bands to find the one which suits you best. You don’t want too much “snap”, as your audience will hear the band and pin going up your sleeve.

You can disappear any number of objects with this simple technique. Drill a small hole in a coin and you can attach one end of the rubber band to the coin.

Magicians have used this method for many, many years… and in this time of hi-tech miracles this STILL remains one of simplest, most effective and inexpensive ways to disappear an object…

~ Gamblers Delight ~

I don’t encourage anyone to use tom-foolery to take advantage of fellow human beings.


As someone who has spent years in a high-level law enforcement position, I am constantly amazed at the number of cons and scams that the human mind can concoct…

More importantly, I am intrigued by the psychology behind a good move. Magicians use this psychology all the time, but the con men use it too.

They mis-direct and play with your mind like a master magician… but, they don’t have your entertainment in mind!

I learned this little trick, which I call ‘Gamblers Delight’, years ago. A similar version is actually an old carnival trick..

Take a deck and shuffle the cards a few times.

Holding the deck face down, fan the cards and ask your ‘friend’ to select any card. He can show it around to others if he wants..

Lay the deck face down on a table after first secretly glimpsing at, and memorizing, the bottom card..
Now, have you friend place his card on top of the deck and cut the deck once. Ask him to complete the cut, but don’t allow him to pick both sections of the deck up, as he may be tempted to perform a multiple cut.

You can put your finger on top of the portion of the deck he just cut off and say ‘ Put the bottom half of the deck right here….’. This will keep him from being able to pick the top half up.

After he completes the cut, his chosen card will be somewhere in the deck – directly under the card you memorized.

Ask him to perform another simple cut, and then another… This, of course, will not change the position of your and his card in relation to one another..

Tell him that you have been working on a brand new trick, one that will allow you to find his chosen card in the deck. Tell him also that you can make this trick work ‘…… most of the time.’

Pick the deck up and take the top card off… turning it face up on the table for everyone to see. Continue this move with the second card, and the third, until you see YOUR memorized card.

You know the next card you turn over will be your friends chosen card.

Turn his chosen card over.. BUT, don’t let on that you know it is the card…

Slowly, as if you’re a little confused, or if you’re counting cards, turn another card over on top of the chosen card. Turn a second card over, hesitate, and then announce that you are so sure of your powers that you will wager ( whatever ) that the ‘Next Card I Turn Over’ will be the chosen card ..

This is where the psychology and greed comes into play…

Your friend, and his friends, all saw the chosen card pass. They know you made a mistake, and in their moments of greed they do not consider that THEY are about to be conned.

After everyone has fallen all over one another to get their bets down…

And you are patiently sitting there with your fingers on the top card of the deck…

Reach down on the table and slowly push the two cards off the top of the chosen card, pick up the chosen card … and Turn It Over…

Everyone will protest and scream ‘ foul ‘….

You did Exactly what you said you would do..!

~ The Toothless Wonder’s Solid thru Solid … ~

One of my favorite coin tricks.. All you need is a bit of two-sided tape, available at most department stores like Wal-mart. ( Two-sided tape is an essential item in your collection of material necessary to carry out a variety of magic tricks… If you don’t have a roll, get one ! )

Put a coin in your hand and keep it out of sight from ‘Bob’ . Ask Bob to hold his hand out.. palm side down. With the coin in the palm of your hand, and with a swift move, put your hand palm down on top of Bob’s, trapping the coin between your palm and the back of Bob’s hand. If you do this in a nice, smooth, quick move… Bob won’t feel the coin you placed on the back of his hand….. I promise.

Take a coin out of your pocket and lay it on top of the back side of your hand ( the hand on top of Bob’s hand ). Announce that you are going to force the coin through the back of your hand and onto Bob’s hand with one swift smack.

What Bob doesn’t know is that you secretly put a one inch strip of two-sided tape into the palm of your free hand, the one NOT on top of Bob’s, before the magic began. With a ‘smack’, slap your hand onto the top of the coin resting on your other hand. Leave your hands in this position for a moment of two as you ask Bob if he felt the magic happen. S-l-o-w-l-y lift your top hand, with the coin now unknowingly stuck, out of site, to the tape in your palm. Leave you fingers open, but keep your hand palm down to keep the coin out-of-site. Move your free hand, along with the coin, to the side as you direct your focus to your other hand.

Again… slowly lift your other hand from atop Bob’s hand to expose the coin laying on top of HIS hand. Turn your hand over to show your palm. Now.. point toward the coin and make a comment about “look, solid thru solid ” as you continue to direct the hand with the coin toward your back or pants pocket…

( Note… Extreme Version… IF ‘Bob’ is a REAL friend, and considering that Halloween is around the corner, you can put a small drop of ketchup on the underside of the coin ( between the coin and your palm ) before you place it on Bob’s hand … After you expose the coin, tell Bob that you’re trying to figure a way to perform the magic without the mess. I would NEVER perform this on a stranger unless you are prepared to start performing as ‘The Toothless Wonder’… )

~ “X” – Rated ~

You’re going to need two props… an outdated paperback book, and a dried-out felt tip pen. if you don’t have an empty one.. you can dry one out by leaving the top off and laying it on the dash board of your car or in a window sill for a couple of days.

Ask your chosen assistant to place the book behind their back and open the book somewhere around the middle. Ask them to fold the first half of the pages under the bottom cover so they will be forced to write on the right-hand page..

Now, ask them to take the marker and make a large “X” on their chosen page.

Once done, have the book closed and layed on a table out of your reach, and ask them to give you the pen… Tell your assistant about your great mental powers and your ability to remotely ‘view’ events of your choosing..

Personally, I have a small silver carrying case with a notebook inside that I keep on a small table near me. I open the case and take out a notebook. I also secretly dish the dried-out pen, thanks to the cover provided by the lid of the case, and pick up another one exactly like it from inside.. only this one actually writes.

Do this quickly… don’t fumble around inside the case ( or drawer, or whatever) and give anyone reason to wonder what you’re doing in there !

After sufficient build-up, I write a word on my pad and hand the pad to my assistant. I ask them to open the book and find the page on which they marked their X.

I tell them that I want them to look at the point at which the two lines intersect in the middle of the page and read aloud the word. Of course.. it will match the word I wrote on the pad, since I put the X in the book long before the beginning of the trick….

You can also do this effect with a pack of cards. Have them place the cards behind their back, mark the face of the card, and return it to the deck. Instead of predicting a word, you will predict the card on which they put the X ( or, I should say, on which YOU put the X !!)

Another variation is.. before-hand, put an X through both the face and back of the same card. Have your assistant shuffle the deck, put it behind their back, and put an X on the face of any one card.

Shuffle the deck. Put the deck behind their back again, and put an X on the back of any chosen card.
Have them shuffle the cards and lay the deck on your table. Have them look through the deck and find the card with the X on the back. They will be perplexed to discover that the same card is also the only card in the deck with an X on the face as well !

~ Boondoogle ~
Jim Bumgardner has a long history of creating amazing, creative internet and multimedia technologies and content.

Among other things, Jim created “The Palace” – a graphical chat system which took the Internet by storm (it drew one million users at its peak).

Jim has also worked on award winning CD-ROMs and a time capsule that was sent to Mars. He designs 100s of really cool, fr’ee software toys which he distributes from his website…

What I want you to do is visit.. and bookmark the URLs for Boondoogle, i polygraph, The Oracle of Batboy, and the Internet Lie Detector.
I have included a brief description of the flash effect ‘Boondoogle’ below. Again, these are available Fr’ee.

Bondoogle is the ultimate “Google Hack” for magicians.
The basic effect.

1. Ask a spectator to pick a card.
2. Fail to ascertain what it is.
3. Turn to Google for help. In Google, you type in “What is it?”
4. Google returns search results that reveal the card.

Bondoggle will also perform a Google Image search, in which case you will get images of the card.
The trick can also be used for a mind-reading effect, using the same technique. If the secret phrase you type is longer than 2 letters, Bondoogle will search for that phrase, whatever it is. You can use this for a good visual mind-reading act.

For example:

Magician: “Name your favorite movie star”.
Spectator: “Charlize Theron”
Magician types (to Google): “What is it that I am thinking of?” Google shows images of Charlize Theron.

I’m a simple guy.. and these well-designed little scripts are the equivalent of giving a dog a bone. My wife is sick and tired of my calling her to the computer every thirty minutes or so….. “Go ahead sweetie.. name a card, any card…”.

~ Hot Coil ~

Pull a small coiled spring from your pocket and tell your audience that this is the ‘heating element’ from a small electrical appliance. As you hold the two ends between your hands, let your audience see it slowly begin to get ‘red hot’..

As you blow on the coil, it begins to cool, and returns to it’s original appearance..

Get a small coil spring from an ink pen and stretch it out. If you can find a coiled wire from an old toaster, so much the better…

Spray one side of the coil with neon orange spray paint.. Once dry, this will make the coil ‘appear’ to be red hot. I would spray lightly at first, avoiding the two ends if possible, until you get the effect that the coil is hot.

That’s all you need to perform this little bit of ‘pocket magic ‘. Once you show the coil red hot, turn it back to it’s original position as you blow on it..
Thank You… Mitch Leary ! ( alt.magic.secrets )

~ Just a Touch ~

Mental magic… just for you. This effect will serve you well if you will take the time to work out some interesting patter. I will briefly summarize the effect and leave the rest to you…

Have someone mentally select a name (or object, or favorite sports team ). Give them a writing pad with five lines drawn and ask them to write the chosen name on one of the lines. Then, four other unrelated names on the other lines.

Take the pad.. study it.. audibly call out a name and announce that you do not think that name was the chosen name. Call out two more names and tell your audience that your are sure they are not the chosen names either.

Down to the last two names.. study hard.. and announce the chosen name.

Give your spec a RED fine-point or micro ink pen. I use a Uni-ball micro. A short time before the effect, touch the tip of the red ink pen to the felt tip of a BLACK marker, like a Sharpie.

When your spec writes their chosen name on one of the lines, the very tip of the first letter will have a “dark” appearance. If you practice for a few minutes before you perform this effect, you will learn exactly how hard to touch the tips together to achieve a virtually un-noticeable ‘smudge’.

NO ONE will notice this smudge, but you.. It will appear as if it’s just a little excess ink on the tip.

Again, take the time to work up a Good Story to go with this effect, and you will have a little bit of impressive mental magic to add to your repertoire…

~ In The Pocket Miracle ~

Simple trick using a basic magic principle that plays big, IF you create a little ‘drama’ to go along with it..

Lay a deck of cards on a table and ask someone to cut it two or three times. After the last cut, ask them to take the top card, look at it, and put it in their pocket. Now, pick up the remainder of the deck and put it in a card case and close it tightly… Pick up a notepad.. study your specs face intently.. look deep into their eyes.. and draw a picture of the card that’s in their pocket…

Pretty simple actually. Use a deck that is stacked – Ace to king of hearts, ace to king to diamonds, etcs.. ( Just like a new deck – with the bottom card being an ace and the top card of the deck a king..)

This effect works really well with a new deck. Remove the jokers, and go immediately into this trick..

Cutting the deck will not affect the order of the cards. When you pick up the deck to put it in the card case, casually glimpse the bottom card. You will know that the card in the pocket is one card lower….

For example.. if a six of hearts is on bottom, the chosen card is the five of hearts. The only exception is if the bottom card is a ace, then the chosen card is an king of the previous suit. Simply arrange the suits in an order you will remember…

You can also perform this trick with a ‘Si Stebbens stack’. If you don’t know what the Stebbens stack is.. put it in Google or MSN or Yahoo search.

You can let a second or third audience member pocket cards also, provided that you get a chance to glimpse the bottom card after each selection.

Again, this is a simple effect. But, in the hands of someone who is willing to take the time to play it up, it will appear to be a true ‘mental miracle’…

~ Extreme Mathematics ~

I enjoy a good mathematical challenge and am particularly fond of mathematical magic. It seems a little contrary to the ‘art’ of magic, and maybe a little.. uh.. juvenile, perhaps ?? But I love it regardless. Well, I have found two simple mathematical formulas that I think everyone will like !

Either one would be ideal for printing on the back of your business card. Althought magicians are a little wary of math magic, many others will regard you as a ‘mathematical wizard’…

— Two Faced —

Have a look at this complex square..

11 66 98 89
99 88 16 61
86 91 69 18
68 19 81 96

Note that every row, column and diagonal adds to 264. There’s a simple mathematical principle behind it that you can discover if you study it closely.

OK.. I’ve seen these squares before. A simpler square, known as the Chinese Square, used to be popular among kids.

Oh, did I mention that what makes this square truly different is – you can turn it upside down, and it will STILL add up to 264 in all directions ?

~ Magic.. times 6 ~

First, get youself a calculator.

Now, think of any number between one and nine. This will be your ‘magic number’. Multiply it by seven. Multiply your answer by three, then by thirty-seven, and lastly.. by thirteen.

I promise you, if you can come up with some good patter, you can impress children and adults alike with this simple bit of mathmatical magic..

~ Flick Your Telekinetic Pen ~

This is an update to an old principle used in “Arrowsmith’s mystery box”. (credit-unknown)
EFFECT: Take a BIC type ink pen from your pocket, tell a little story about how your dear, departed grandmother was a gypsie, and how she taught you her inner-most secrets before her passing..
Lay the pen on a table with about one-third of the pen extended over the edge. Move your hands over and around the pen in all directions to show that there are no wires or connections of any sort..

Invite your spectator to do the same..

Back away from the table, even to the other side of the room if you wish, and begin to gesture toward the pen. Slowly, the pen will begin to move and finally fall completely off the table, aided only by your psychic powers and your grandmothers magical wisdom..

SECRET: Empty a BIC type pen of it’s ink cartridge. Fill the pen about half full of a thick substance like motor oil or honey.

Replace the ink cartridge and make sure the pen will not leak. Now, put the cap on the pen and you’re ready to perform.

Keep the pen in your pocket, or in some other location, in a position so the thick liquid will have settled in the cap end of the pen. Place the pen on a table with the other end ( not the capped end ) extended over the edge. Leaving the cap on will provide enough of a slope for the liquid to flow to the other end and tip the pen off the table..

Experiment a little with the liquid, and you will be able to safely estimate the length of time before the pen will fall. You don’t want your liquid to flow so slowly that it takes five minutes to tip over the pen.
Doctor two or three pens and you can make them all fall within thirty seconds of one another..

Card in Wallet Prediction

The magician lets a spectator pick a card from the pack. Then, the magician takes a card out of his or her wallet and it matches the card chosen by the spectator..

The Secret:

First, you need two of the same card (they don’t need to be from the same type of deck). Let’s say it is the queen of diamonds.

Take one of the queens and put it in a wallet. Put either double stick tape or a loop of tape on the bottom of the wallet, and put the wallet in your pocket.

Take the other queen and put it on top of the deck you want to use.

Now you are ready to do the trick.

Take out the wallet and tell the spectator that there is a prediction of some sort inside (make sure the spectator does not see the tape).

Tell a spectator to pick a card and not to look at it.

Take the card and put it on top of the deck.

Now, start to talk about telepathy & magic and casually put the wallet over the deck of cards. When the wallet is removed, the card the spectator selected is on the bottom of the wallet, and the queen of diamonds is now on the top of the deck.

Put the queen of diamonds on the table and flip it over.

Slowly open the wallet to build up the suspense and finally reveal that the cards match.

Very Predictable

Nice little prediction trick to use when you have a number of volunteers in the audience. This virtually self-working trick is very devious.. I’ve used it to fool plenty of otherwise smart folks…

All you need is a small spiral bound notebook, preferably one like a stenographers notebook where the pages flip over the top, and a small glass jar with a lid.

Begin by telling your audience of your amazing psychic powers. Tell them that to prove your point, you are going to predict a chosen number under almost laboratory conditions…

Make a show of writing a number on one of the notebook pages. Tear the page off the notebook, fold it up, carefully – and in full view of the audience – place it inside the jar and screw on the lid. Pick someone from the audience to hold your prediction while you work your magic..

Side note: If you have, or can get, a small green snake, garden snake, or other harmless snake, have the snake inside the glass jar and show him to the audience. Call him/her by name – “Killer”, “Viper”, “Annie Conda”, whatever, and tell the audience that after 600 performances, Killer has never allowed anyone to tamper with your prediction..

Getting a female to hold the jar during your performance can be a comedy routine in itself.. Lot’s of funny possibilities. If you can get your hands on a genuine set of rattlesnake rattlers, the possibilities are increased trifold..

Take your notebook and a deck of cards and walk into the audience. Ask someone near the front to pick a card out of the deck and look at it. Let them return the card to the deck without you seeing it’s value. Now, hand them the notebook and ask them to write down the value of the card they selected, with ace being one, jacks are eleven, queens twelve, and kings thirteen. Ask them not to write too big as three other people have to add their numbers to the same page.

Now, go to a second spectator and repeat the same sequence of events, with the selection of a card and then adding it’s numerical value to the notebook.

Repeat this with both a third and then a fourth spectator.

At this point you have four numbers on one page of your notebook. Walk back to your table, or any table actually, and lay your notebook on the table. Turn, and ask someone from the audience to assist you with your prediction.

Have them come to the table , hand them a pen, and ask them if they will kindly add the four numbers together.

After they calculate the total, ask them to turn and tell the audience the total. Now, ask the spectator holding the jar with the prediction to open the jar, remove your prediction, and read it aloud. If you have the optional snake, well, you can see the humor…

The number you predicted on your paper and the number read aloud by the spectator will ALWAYS match..

Write four numbers on the back side of the pad long before beginning the trick. Make them appear to be written by four different hands.. As you walk toward your table after the fourth spectator adds their number, casually drop the pad to your side. When you put the pad on the table, lay it down with YOUR four numbers showing. Of course, your prediction IS always correct, or, you need a new profession..

Laying the pad on the table prohibits the pad from being picked up and/or the audience glimpsing the other four numbers.

It’s not really necessary for you to use a deck of cards to perform this trick. You can simply ask the audience members to write down any number from one to ten or fifteen. Using cards makes the trick longer. Allowing the audience to pick their own numbers makes the trick simpler.. Your choice.

As far as I know, this is an original effect. If someone knows of another magician performing this effect.. let me know..

Leary’s Letter

If you are a regular, or not, over at alt.magic.secrets then you know Mitch Leary. Everybody knows Mitch. Some of the regulars swear by Mitch, others swear at Mitch.. But regardless, he knows a lot about magic, and I am one of those who loves to learn.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought this would be appropriate….

If you perform the trick BLACK ENVELOPE this is a hot tip. Halloween is approaching and Hallmark has all their Halloween cards out, complete with your choice of orange or BLACK ENVELOPES. I just visited Walgreens and grabbed a handful.

I don’t own the marketed effect BLACK ENVELOPE, so the following routine is pure speculation. It allows you to accomplish the same miracles and I’ve been using it long before the trick hit the market. Here’s a single trick…no, make that MIRACLE!

A black envelope is placed in the center of the table. A deck of cards is introduced, a card chosen, signed, and returned to the deck. IMMEDIATELY the magician picks up the envelope, opens it, and the spectators card is found inside.



The secret is a slit in the back of the envelope, completely invisible because you are using a BLACK ENVELOPE. Cut a slit in the envelope lengthwise, a little bigger than the length of the card, in the area where you would normally write the persons name and address (of this were a white envelope). When you bring this envelope out place it ‘slit side down’ on the table.

Have a card chosen, signed, and returned. Control the card to the top secretly (I use the pass). Assuming you are holding the deck in the left hand, obtain a left little finger break beneath the top card (spectator’s signed card).

Pick up the envlope with the right hand and place it on top of the deck, as you secretly slide the top card into the slit. Practice this so it can be done smoothly. It should look as if you are simply using both hands to open the envelope, with the deck in the left hand. They see you sliding the envelope under the left thumb, perfect cover for sliding the top card into the slit beneath the envelope. Because you have the little finger the top card is raised and ready to go.

NOTE: The card will only be halfway inside the envelope, the other half still on top of the deck, that’s ok. When you open the envelope they will see the half thats inside. You reach in and pull the entire card out of the envelope, right off the top of the deck. The deception is perfect.

Magic Slate

How do you turn a cheap, ungimmicked chalk slate into a ‘magic slate’ equal to (almost) slates costing hundreds of dollars?

First, lets run through a performance of my ‘magic slate’ to give you a solid idea of what I’m talking about. Invite a member of the audience to engage in a little mental experiment with you, ” the most sensitive psychic since….”

Give your assistant a chalk board large enough for others to see writing on, but not too large for your assistant to handle comfortably. Also give them a small damp sponge or cloth, and a piece of chalk, preferably placed in a small chalk holder available at office supply stores.

Now, ask them to think of an object, a number, a symbol, or a name – whatever you prefer. Lets assume you asked them to write a four digit number between 1000 and 9999. Once they’ve wrote their number on the board, outside of your sight of course, have them show it to others – or not.. Since no stooges are used, it doesn’t really matter.

I’ll leave the patter to you. Here’s what happens..

Once they write their selection on the slate and show it to others, have them take the small damp sponge and completely wipe the slate clean. They will then pass the slate back to you and you will continue with your patter and build-up, telling the audience how you will attempt to divine the chosen number. Keep in mind that the slate is to be treated as simply an insignificant part of the trick. The important part is your revealing of the number and the slate is simply a writing instrument on which the number is to be placed so the assistant can share his selection with the audience without your knowledge…

After sufficient build-up you will grab the slate, write a number on the slate, hand the slate to another audience member to hold, ask your assistant to reveal their chosen number, then have the audience member holding the slate turn it for all to see.. revealing that YOU have correctly guessed the chosen number.

( Notice that by handing the slate to someone else before the assistant reveals their number, you have eliminated the use of a nail writer..)

OK Rick.. If you didn’t use an expensive slate, a gimmicked slate, a stooge, or a nail writer, how’d you do it?

Well…. the secrets in the chalk and the sponge. Take a piece of chalk and soak its end in clear cooking oil before your performance. Obtaining a chalk holder, or making one for that matter, assures that the audience member will use the prepared end to write with. Whatever they write on the slate will appear normal, if you wipe most of the oil off the chalk. Experiment…

Remember I said you needed a small, damp sponge or cloth. They should use this to wipe the slate clean. The slate will not only appear completely clean, but shiny clean as well..

Under the glare of the damp slate top what they WON”T see is the FAINT, GREASY OUTLINE of the number they wrote on the slate. You won’t see it either.. until the slate dries.

Then.. trace over their number, hand the slate to someone, and have them reveal that you have successfully divined their number ( or name, or serial number from a dollar note, or….. )

You must be prepared to patter until the slate has had time to dry. Using a sponge with just the right amount of dampness is important, and the slate should be dry within two to three minutes.

This is a variation of an old technique that magicians used almost a hundred years ago. With the right patter, you can make this simple trick with a cheap chalk slate appear like a million bucks…

Work on it, and let me know how it goes… If you have any additional tips to add, send them also.

~ Stapled

John Scarne devised a nice trick where the spectators selected card is found by a magic ‘indicator’ card, which is a joker and a four stapled back-to-back. Actually, the spectators card isn’t located by the locator card, instead it is found stapled to the joker in place of the four. I won’t go into the specifics of Scarne’s effect, as it’s rather long (as if my version isn’t..). Instead, I’ll offer my version, which has the same premise but is about half the length.. text wise.

What you need: Two jokers and two regular cards, for the sake of illustration, a four of clubs and a ten of hearts.

Staple the four and a joker back to back. Do the same with the other joker and the ten. Put the joker/ten either in your jacket pocket or your back pants pocket. Put the joker/four in any front pocket. Now, you’re ready to performed “Stapled”, my version of Scarnes “The Stapled Card”.

Force the ten of hearts. As with the wizard effect above, I like to use a magicians choice to force my card. If you aren’t familiar with a full deck magicians choice, you can read about it HERE. Taking the time to perform a magicians choice helps fill out the effect and when performed rapidly, leaves the spectator convinced that he/she chose the card fairly. Of course, you can use whatever method you like as long as the ten ends up on top of the deck.

I force the ten, gather the cards, cut them near the middle, and ask the spectator to place his chosen card into the middle of the deck. I catch a pinkie break and bring it back to the top. If you aren’t comfortable with that.. glimpse the bottom card, have the spectator place the chosen card on top of the deck, cut the deck a couple of times, and flip through the deck looking for the bottom card under the pretex that you’re going to find the chosen card.

When you spot the former bottom card, assuming you’re thumbing cards from your left hand into your right, separate the deck at that point . The former bottom card will be on bottom of the pack in your left hand and the spectators card will be on top of the stack in your right hand.

Turn the left hand pack around and show the former bottom card and announce that you’ve found the spectators card. They will tell you that you need to practice a little more, as that’s NOT their card. Put the two halves back together, with the right hand pack going on top of the left hand pack – with the backs up, and the spectators card is now on top of the deck without any sleight of hand..


If you use the pinkie break method, announce that you are going to use a special locator card to help you find the selected card. If you used the non-sleight method, announce that since you couldn’d find the selected card, you are going to be forced to use a special locator card to find it.

Reach in your pocket and remove the joker/four, hand it to the spectator and ask him to check it out thoroughly to make sure it is nothing more than two cards stapled together. Tell the spectator about this being a special combination of two magical cards first taught to you by Mama Lenora, your gypsy grandmother. And since the magic skips a generation, you’re empowered…

Place the locator card on top of the deck (also directly on top of the ten of hearts ) , and tell the spectator that you’re going to place the locator card into the deck and, since you don’t have a blindfold, you’re going to put the cards either in your pocket -or- behind your back..

If you put it behind your back, take the locator card out of your pocket and stick it into the center of the deck with the joker side face up in the face down deck. Remove the joker/four and the selected ten of hearts and put them in your back pocket.

If you use the jacket method, do the same with the joker/ten and then leave the joker/four and the ten in your pocket when you bring the deck out..

Bring the deck out of your pocket, or around front, backs up..

Lay the deck on the table, patter, patter, patter, patter, and announce that the locator card has been inserted into the deck at percisely the location of the chosen card. Remove the card under the joker/ten , lay it on the table, and as you flip it over announce that “my magic locator card has succeeded yet again..” When the spectator tells you that’s not the correct card, tell him that sometimes the locator card actually slips under the selected card, and remove and show the card above the locator card. Again, this will not be the correct card.

Tell the spectator that this is quite strange, as this has never happened before, and ask him to please look through the deck and remove his chosen card – while you hold the locator card. Of course, he won’t find it.. When he tells you that his chosen card is not in the deck, ask him what his chosen card was.. When he says “the ten of hearts”, say.. ” Wow, this IS strange. I’ve never had this happen before either… Look..” as you hand him the joker/ten locator card for examination…

Side note – You can begin the trick with the spectator stapleing the Joker/Four together for you. This adds a little personal touch.

With the proper patter.. this can be a very strong effect..

~ Buckled

This was a favorite effect of many magicians in the New York area during the middle of the century. Again, I’m going to give you an abbreviated version. The principle is the same, and can be used during many other effects.

This effect is perfect if the deck actually belongs to someone else, as it eliminates the possibility that you gaffed the deck beforehand. Ask the spectator to remove approximately twenty cards from the deck. (I’m not going to provide the patter.. only the method..) Tell the spectator that your fingers are so sensitive that they can actually feel the ink on the playing cards.

Turn your back to the spectator and ask him to turn one card in his pack of about twenty around backwards and reinsert it into the deck at any point.. Ask him to place the stack into your hands, which you’re holding behind your back. When he puts the stack in your hands, turn back around and face him. Slowly flip through the cards, find the reversed card, turn it the correct way, and hand it back to the spectator to confirm that you found the reversed card.

That was simple enough, wasn’t it? With the proper patter, you can make quite an impression.

Oh.. you want the principle also? Make sure that the deck you’re using is a used deck. Not necessarily an old deck… just used. If you hold a card with your thumb on one side and your middle finger on the other side and slightly squeeze the card, the card will bow face-out. If you’re holding the cards with the faces facing the palm of your hand, you can let your index finger almost touch the center of the card, and when you press the card you’ll feel the card bow out to touch the tip of your index finger.

Of course, when one card bows the other way, it’s the reversed card.

You can use this principle to find a chosen card also. Let two or three spectators select cards. While they’re looking at them, secretly flip the deck over, then flip the top card over to give the impression that this is the top of the deck. Bring the deck up and ask the spectators to please insert their cards into the deck at any location. Put the deck behind your back, flip the top (really bottom) card back over to it’s original direction, and begin your search..

This was Scarne at his best.. teaching the average guy a few card tricks and showing him how not to lose his paycheck in a crooked card or dice game. Unfortunately, Scarne couldn’t teach his amazing ability to cut the aces, deal seconds or bottoms, or cut the deck precisely to any named number. This took far more practice than even most magicians were (are) willing to devote to our craft..

~ Dice Vision

Ask someone to stack three dice, one of top of the other, while you turn your back. Turn back around and immediately ask the spectator to cover the dice with a cup so you can’t see the sides of the dice.

Make a mental note of the top value of the top die. Now, announce that you can successfully predict the sum of the five hidden faces of the dice..( the bottom and top face of the bottom and middle dice, and the bottom face of the top die) Mention that others in the audience could have noted the side numbers of the stacked dice, but no one could have seen the hidden faces.

Write your prediction on a chalk board or a piece of paper and put it to one side. Ask the spectator to look at the bottom number of the top die, then the top and bottom number of the middle and bottom dice. Ask them to total the numbers. Give them a pencil and paper and/or calculator to help them keep the numbers straight. If they miscount, your trick is toast..

After they total the numbers, display your prediction with the proper flair.

The Secret? The correct answer will always be twenty-one, minus the top number. If the top number, the number visible to you as you turned around, was a three, for example, the total of the top and bottom or all three dice is seven, plus seven, plus seven, minus the top number( a three) which leaves eighteen as the correct prediction. Remember the “rule of seven?”

It’s really easy to use a couple of spectators at once for this trick. The only problem is if they have identical top numbers the predictions will be the same. You can easily glance at the top number of the two stacks and get the correct predictions. Different predictions helps convince the audience of your skill.

You can just as easily perform this effect with four or five dice. Four dice will be 4 x 7=28, minus the top number. Five is 5 x 7=35, minus the top number . This is the ‘rule of seven’ at work..

~ ‘Die’ Vernon Mental Magic

This is a nice little bit of mental magic, utilizing nothing more than dice and a book.

Begin your effect with a blank piece of paper and a sealable envelope. Announce that you are going to make a bold mental prediction, using a normal set of dice.

Write a word on the piece of paper and seal it in the envelope. Hand this to someone to hold for the duration of the effect.

Give the spectator two dice ( you can use any number of dice ) and ask them to toss them out. Have them add the two top numbers. Almost as an afterthought, ask them to also add the bottom numbers to the total to make the trick more complex. Have them add the two top numbers first – then the bottom numbers – to prevent the spectator from seeing the ‘seven’ pattern on multiple dice…

If they use two dice, what will the total be? Fourteen, of course. (7+7=14) Ask them to please open the book to page fourteen and place a bookmark on that page. Now, to make the effect even more random, tell them that you are giving them a third die and ask them to toss them out. Again, have them total the top three numbers, then flip the dice over and add the bottom three to the total as well.

Their total will be twenty-one.. ( 7+7+7=21). Ask the spectator to count down to the twenty-first word in the text and read it aloud. Ask the spectator holding the envelope to open your prediction and read it aloud, much to the satisfaction of the audience..

Of course, you will always know in advance the word to be chosen by the number of dice you bring into play. Two dice, then three, as illustrated, will always be the 21st word on the 14th page.

Personally, I use a Websters New World Dictionary, and I ask them to count down to the twenty-first definition, which in my book is the word “alarming”. My prediction reads ” I hope you find this little bit of magic rather ‘ALARMING’ ”

~ Pentagram Magic

This is a great effect. I’ve never took the time to try to figure ‘why’ it works.. I just know that it does.

Needed: Two dice and a drawing of a pentagram (five-sided object ). A calculator and/or pencil and paper always helps..

Begin with suitable patter about the magical qualities of a pentagram. Ask someone to roll one of the dice and cover it with a cup or cloth, without letting you see the number rolled.

“Note the pentagram has two sides facing upward, so multiply the number you rolled by two.”

“Note also that the pentagram has five sides total, so add five to your total.”

“The pentagram is unique among all the grams in that it has five points, so multiply your total by five.”

” Again, I will turn my back, and I would like for you to take the second die, roll it, note the number, and cover it as well..”

“If you would, please add the number you just rolled to your total and write the Total Only in the center of the pentagram.”

When you turn and study the number inside the pentagram, you will immediate know not only the two numbers rolled, but the order in which they were rolled.. You will be able to point to one of the dice and state..” this is a __”, and then turn to the other and name it as well..

How, you ask? Subtract twenty-five (25) from the number in the pentagram. Your answer will be the two numbers rolled – in the order in which they were rolled. Lets say you rolled a five, then a six. It would total like this…

Multiply your rolled number by the two sides facing upward… 5×2=10
Add a five for the five sides of the pentagram… 10+5=15
Multiply this number by the number of points…. 15×5=75
Roll a second number and add it to the total….. 75+6=81

When you see the total (81), simply subtract twenty-five, and you have.. 81-25=56

You now know that five(5) was the first number rolled, and six (6) was the second. Getting the two numbers correct is good. Getting the two number correct AND in the order they were rolled is real good.. Works every time!


Some of the best magic is the most simple of magic. Not every confounding effect involves sleight of hand or complex memorization. And not all good effects have to be a total perplexity to other magicians. If you find yourself performing your effects for the amazement of other magicians, then your performing for the wrong audience..

As you remove a deck of cards from the pack, remark of your recent ‘jolting’ experience with a screwdriver and an electrical outlet, and the astounding mental abilities you’ve acquired since..

” A deck of cards is a magical thing, for sure. Consisting of 52 cards that represent the 52 weeks of the year, four suits to correspond to the 4 seasons, 13 different values to represent each of the 13 symbols of the lunar calendar, and a total of 365 pips to represent – what else than – the 365 days of the year, a deck of cards is the perfect tool for a sensitive magi like myself..”

“I want you to take this deck, look throught it to make sure all the cards are different, and then shuffle the deck to your hearts content. Satisfied? Good! Now, look at the bottom card, memorize it, and carefully slide the deck back into this pack, face down of course, as I hold it open for you..”

“Now, I’ll close the top, completely isolating the deck from the outside world, but not from my probing mind. I’ll place the deck against my forehead, like this, as my subconscious mind gently whispers to my conscious mind that your selected card, hereto unknown only to you, was a…. a….. a….. ( and name the card. correctly of course..)”

How did I do it? As the name implies – K.I.S.S. .

KISS is a marketing term commonly used by copywriters that means ” Keep it simple, stupid”. Copywriters need to compose simple and straight-to-the-point copy, ( unlike what I’ve done to this point..) to help the readers fully understand the offer and motivate them with simple keywords.

How simple is this trick? Take a razor blade or box cutter and cut a small window in the lower corner of what will be the underside of the pack as you hold it for the cards to be inserted. Cut properly, when the cards are placed in the pack, only the number and pip of the bottom card is visible through the opening you cut.

Your fingers will conceal the opening as the deck is being placed inside the pack by the spectator. As you bring the pack forward to your forehead, carefully turn the pack around, glimpsing the cards identity.

Your work is done, and the rest is a matter of patter. Remember, magic like this works particularly well on the typical audience. I know many of you may already know this effect, but I’ll bet your audience doesn’t… and thats what matters. I know magicians who make a full time living performing tricks like this. It’s ALL in the presentation – if you know how to K.I.S.S.

Brainwave for Dummies

This is a little effect I developed some while back. I do not have a clue as to whether or not it’s an original effect. It’s original to me, and I have not seen anyone else perform it. So.. if you developed this effect before 2002, my apologies..

I call this ” Brainwave for Dummies ” because it produces the same general effect as Brainwave without using a gaffed deck, and is virtually fool-proof if you follow the directions. Don’t assume because it’s ‘almost’ self-working that it’s not a strong effect, because it is.. At the conclusion, the spectator is convinced that you could not have used sleight of hand, since all the choices were theirs…

All you need to perform this effect is a deck of cards, one card with a different colored back, and a piece of paper and pencil. Oh, and the ability to perform a good magicians choice. If you have these tools, you’re ready.

Take the odd-backed card and replace the mate to it in the deck beforehand. Begin by taking the deck from the pack, FACE UP, and casually performing a few overhand shuffles. Ask the spectator if they would like to cut the deck a couple of times as you lay the deck on the table face up.

Announce that you are about to make a startling prediction, using the powers you inherited from your grandmother-the-gypsy. Pick up the piece of paper, write on it, fold it up and lay it to one side.

Begin to perform a magicians force by dividing the deck into four stacks. Again, everything is performed FACE UP, and the backs of the cards are kept from view. As you casually flip through the cards, look for the odd-backed card ( after all, you know the value and suit ) and keep track of which stack it’s in. Don’t be in a hurry to eliminate cards. Take your time and work your way down to the last few cards.

When you’re down to the last two cards, ask the spectator to gently place one finger on one card. As soon as you see where their headed, announce that you will discard/keep that card and that it was entirely their choice. If they put their finger on the ‘correct’ card, push the other card out of the way, but not out of play. If they put their finger on the other card, casually push that card to one side and pull the ‘correct’ card into the center of focus..

It’s now time to reveal your prediction. Have the spectator reach for your prediction, open it, and read it aloud. ” I’m sorry, but I don’t have a clue what card you chose.. I do know, using my great skill, that your card has a blue back..”.

Take the card, and for the first time, show the audience that the card does, in fact, have a blue (or red) back. Announce that you were able to successfully predict this, despite the fact that you could not see the backs of the cards. The audience will think you’re rather dull…

“Of course, predicting that this card has a blue back is not really special. After all, they all have blue backs…. or do they?

Pick up the other card and flip it over to show that it has a red back. Now, pick up the deck and turn over several other cards to show that they too have red backs. Pick up the pace as you rapidly turn over all the cards to show nothing but red backed cards.

Turn to your spectator and graciously thank them for picking out the ONLY blue backed card in the deck…

Of course, it helps to have entertainment value added to this, or any other effect. With humor and good timing, you can create a very nice, very puzzling effect.

Make it your Own..

This article comes with instructions. It’s not actually an article teaching you a new trick, or reminding you of an old one. It’s not an informative article full of tips and tricks to make your audience clap wildly with appreciation. And it’s not a tell-all intended to disclose the secret of a fellow magician.

What it is… is an article to make you think, and to make you aware of one of the most important ‘secrets’ in all of magic – the ability to take a trick or effect and make it your own.

I smile each week when I hear Simon and Randy on American Idol telling the singers- ” to win, you need to take a song and make it your own..” Exactly. That’s what it’s all about. You DO NOT need every new effect that comes out to make your performance timely and entertaining. Performers on American Idol do not need to write and perform a new song each week to succeed. They need to take an old one and put their personal touch on it…

This little bit of information is one of the most important I can pass on to a fellow magician, and it’s a personal challenge I’m going to issue to each of you…

” I want you to look through your ‘classic’ books of magic, pick out an effect you like, and turn it into a ‘personal’ effect by adding your own twist, which may be as simple as changing the patter or handling.”

Do it… you’ll be glad you did…

Did you see David Letterman the night of April 12th? One of his guest was close up magician Jason Randal. Among the various effects he performed was one that I know as “match ’em up”. I do know that this is not the original name, and that it was published in a couple of early, now public domain, works.

Jason put his own twist on the effect by using a deck composed of a number of different-backed cards from casino’s. The deck was removed from his pocket and shown as being a deck composed of cards from various casino’s. Jason then removed two jacks from the deck which were already face up, the only two face up cards in the otherwise face down deck.

The jacks were given to David and he was asked to put one of the jacks, face up, onto a stack of face down cards as Jason dealt them onto the desk. Once done, Jason put the remainder of the cards in his hand onto the jack, leaving the jack out-jogged so as to allow David to keep his eyes on it..

Next, Jason picked up the deck and began the dealing-onto-the-desk process again, and ask David to place the other jack face up onto the pile whenever he wanted. Again, Jason placed the cards in his hand on top of the stack on the desk once David dropped the jack onto the dealt pile.

After a minute of recapping the effect, Jason picked up the whole deck and began to thumb through the deck looking for the two face up jacks. When he found the first one he put it, and the card above it, to one side.

Continuing until he found the second jack, he again removed the jack and the card above it and set it to one side.

The remainder of the deck was set down and Jason, after suitable patter, revealed that the cards on top of the two jacks were both jacks as well. They had matched up, magically of course..

After a little more patter about the probabilities of such a feat, Jason then flipped over the remainder of the deck and ribbon spread the cards to reveal that they were all six of hearts.

Sometimes we forget how a really simple card trick can fool an audience of millions – if done correctly. As they say, it’s all in the presentation. Jason had the deck set up before-hand, with one of the face down jacks on top of the deck, and the other on the bottom.

You can set up a regular deck the same way, and see how this effect is almost self-working. Put a jack on top, another on bottom, and you’re set. When removing the deck from the pack, or your pocket, announce that you need a couple of jacks, and thumb through the deck until you find the two other jacks, and flip them face up onto the table.

Begin to deal cards face down onto the desk and have one of the jacks put in face up wherever the spec chooses. When you drop the remainder of the cards in your hand onto the stack on the desk, you are putting the jack that was on the bottom on top of the face up jack… got it?

The jack that was on top to begin with, is now at the very bottom of the stack, since it was the first card dealt onto the desk. Now, by repeating the process – deal a stack onto the desk, have the second jack placed face up onto the stack, and dropping all the cards remaining in your hand onto the second face up jack – you have now put the remaining face down jack, which is on the bottom, on top of the second face up jack.

The trick is complete at this point, with all that remains is for you to gather all the cards, or ribbon spread them on the desk, and remove the two face up jacks and the cards directly above them. Set these to one side and you are ready for your reveal.

Jason’s use of a deck with all sixes increases the visual aspect of the trick, but it’s not necessary to make the trick work. I’ve performed this effect in the past and I do not use a prepared deck. I let the spec examine the deck and shuffle it as well. This eliminates any doubt as to multiple cards or a gaffed deck. When they’re happy, I take the deck, tell them that I need a couple of aces, ( my card of choice..) and I thumb through the deck looking for the aces.

When I come to the first one, I secretly thumb it from my left hand onto the top of the right hand packet, whereas it would normally go on the bottom, but if done quickly no one will notice. When I come to the second and third ace, I drop them face up onto the desk. I ‘quickly’ ribbon spread the remainder of the cards looking for the fourth ace, and separate the deck at that point, last ace in my right hand, and out-jog it just enough that I can slide the remainder of the left hand packet in front of this ace and square up the deck.

I now have an ace on top, one on bottom, and I’m ready to begin. If done quickly, no one will notice that you prepared the deck right in front of them.. Just walk through the steps slowly, trying to increase your speed as you go along.

Jason’s version looks good on tv, but requires a set up and a special deck. Mine doesn’t require a special deck and can be set up on a moments notice, but lacks the ‘all sixes’ effect. Either one is a good example of what you can do with a really simple card trick and good patter. Don’t get caught up in believing that all good effects must have bodacious sleight of hand to be successful.

This trick works for the same reason an Elmsley count works. If done with confidence, 99% of the people will not pick up on what you’re doing…

~ Just a Touch ~

Mental magic… This effect will serve you well if you will take the time to work out some interesting patter. I will briefly summarize the effect and leave the rest to you…

Have someone mentally select a name (or object, or favorite sports team ). Give them a writing pad with five lines drawn and ask them to write the chosen name on one of the lines. Then, four other unrelated names on the other lines.

Take the pad.. study it.. audibly call out a name and announce that you do not think that name was the chosen name. Call out two more names and tell your audience that your are sure they are not the chosen names either.

Down to the last two names.. study hard.. and announce the chosen name.

Give your spec a RED fine-point or micro ink pen. I use a Uni-ball micro. A short time before the effect, touch the tip of the red ink pen to the felt tip of a BLACK marker, like a Sharpie.

When your spec writes their chosen name on one of the lines, the very tip of the first letter will have a “dark” appearance. If you practice for a few minutes before you perform this effect, you will learn exactly how hard to touch the tips together to achieve a virtually un-noticeable ‘smudge’.

NO ONE will notice this smudge, but you.. It will appear as if it’s just a little excess ink on the tip.

Note how simple the technique is.. yet it can be played big if you take the time to work up a Good Story to go with this effect, and you will have a little bit of impressive mental magic to add to your repertoire…

Heads or Tails?

Onto the table you place a sealed envelope and a 10, 20, and 50 pence piece ( or nickel, dime and quarter). The spectator chooses one of the coins and the others are discarded. The chosen coin is flipped so it lands heads or tails. The envelope is opened, turned upside down and a folded piece of paper falls out. The spectator opens the folded paper to reveal a prediction. You have correctly predicted the not only the chosen coin but whether it would land heads up or tails up.

This simple routine introduces two important concepts important to mind reading and mental magic.

The first is known as magician’s choice and can used in many mentalist effects. Although the spectator appears to be getting a free choice, they are choosing exactly the coin you want them to. For instance, if you want them to choose the 20p piece, invite them to choose two of the three coins. If they choose the 10p and 50p, you ask them to push those to one side, leaving them with the 20p. If they choose the 10p and 20p, ask them to push the 50p to one side. Then ask them to choose either the 10p or 20p. If they choose the 20p, say “You chose the 20p. Then that’s the one we’ll use,” and ask them to push to 10p to one side. If they choose the 10p, ask them to push it one side and say, “And you’re left with the 20p. That’s the one we’ll use.” Then ask them to flip the coin. See whether it lands heads or tails and ask them to call it out.

This is where the envelope comes in and as you’ve probably guessed by now, all is not as it seems. This is our second important concept – multiple outs. We’ve already seen this used in the first effect, where two outcomes were covered by two different predictions. Effects that use this concept have more than one way of finishing, so you need to have all possible outcomes covered.

You will need two identical brown pay envelopes. Take one envelope and trim off about 1mm from the bottom and sides. Trim off the flap so you are left with what used to be the front of the envelope: a rectangle of paper just slightly smaller than the envelope.

The trimmed envelope slips inside the other envelope, creating two compartments. You’ll also need two predictions, one that reads “You’ll choose the 20p and it will land head side up” and another that reads the same but ending “tail side up”.

Place one prediction into each compartment and stick down the flap. When you slit open the envelope to reveal the prediction, slip your first and second fingers inside to open up the envelope. As you do so, push the flap back or forward depending on which prediction you need to reveal. Once the flap is in place, hold it there with your thumb and finger, then tip the envelope upside down so the appropriate folded prediction falls out.

As the spectator is unfolding and reading the prediction, slip the envelope into your pocket.

Coin through Ashtray

Here’s a fairly simple effect thats been around for some time, but it usually requires a little prep that makes it difficult to perform in a walk-around or restaurant location. I’ve simplified it to the point where it can be performed at a table with a minimum of preparation.

Begin ideally with a small tin ashtray. It can be one of the little disposable foil ashtrays like those seen at fast food restaurants. If the restaurant you perform at doesn’t have them, you can purchase your own a grocery stores. You don’t have to tell your audience what you’re going to do… just do it.

Take the ashtray and place it on top of a glass. Remove a piece of paper from your pocket, about the size of an index card, along with a coin about the size of an american quarter. If you want to be brave, you can also take out a sharpie and ask someone at the table to please make a big ‘X’ on both sides of the quarter. Specifically tell them a ” big X ” to eliminate the possibility that some highly focused individual will make really small X’s.

Once done, recap the Sharpie and casually lay it on the table in front of you. Take the quarter, put it in the center of the paper, and fold the paper from top to bottom – folding the quarter inside. Fold the paper again, from left to right and then right to left.

If you’re using fairly thin paper you can hold the folded paper, coin inside, in front of you using both fore fingers and middle fingers on one side and both thumbs on the back side – facing you. Momentarily make a little ‘small talk’, like ” has any of you ever seen a real coin pass through a solid object ?”, as you squeeze the coin front and back, forcing it to leave a raised impression in the paper.
Secretly allow the coin to slide out the bottom of the paper packet into your palm, as the coin is only sealed from the top and the sides. There are other ways, detailed in many magic books, to fold the paper, but this is the most straight-forward. Taking the packet in the hand without the coin, reach down almost as an after-thought and pick up the Sharpie with the other hand and drop it – and the coin – into your shirt or jacket pocket.

Put the packet into the ashtray, take out a pack of matches or lighter, and light the paper. As it burns, focus everyones attention on the glass – where they will shortly see the quarter pass through the ashtray and fall into the bottom of the glass.

All you need as a set-up is a quarter with two X’s drawn on it, attached to the bottom of the ash tray with a small bit of wax. Of course, the heat from the fire will melt the wax and allow the quarter to fall into the glass. Use the right weight of paper to give the wax enough time to melt. Flash paper is way to quick, and cardboard may take too long to burn or produce to much smoke. Experiment.

A glass full of water will increase the amount of time the spectators have to watch the quarter as it falls. If you’re using your own ashtrays, you can have the quarter already attached. Glass ashtrays are usually too thick to heat up properly. Since an ‘X’ is fairly generic, the spectator is not apt to realize that it’s not their X on the coin.

If you’re confident with your coin work, you can have a spectator initial the coin, palm a second coin in your hand with some initials written on it, find opportunity to stick the spectators initialed coin to the ashtray, fold the second coin into the paper as described above, and watch as the actual signed coin floats to the bottom of the glass.

It’s worth the effort – if you take time to develop the proper patter and presentation…

Hole in One

I originally read a description of a similiar effect some time back at a site I’ve not been able to re-find.. So, I took the basic premise, gave it a make-over, and am republishing it as ‘Hole In One’.. If you know the original source of this effect, send me an email and I’ll credit it in the next issue..

Effect: The magician shows a spectator a deck of cards, riffles through the deck, and stops at the location picked by the spectator. After showing spec the card, the magician puts it back into the middle of the deck, shuffles the deck several times, and hands it to the spectator.

The spectator is asked to hold the deck outward to his side at arms length. The magician meanwhile produces a small revolver, derringer, or starter pistol from his pocket (Cap pistols ONLY.. Real firearms or firearms that fire blanks should NEVER be used ) . Asking the spectator to hold the deck very still, the magician takes aim and fires one shot toward the outstretched deck..

The spectator is then asked to name his or her card. Once done, the magician takes the deck and very deliberately fingers through the deck, face side up, and requests the spectator stop him when he/she see’s their chosen card. Once the card is spotted, the magician asks the spectator to carefully remove the card, and , to the surprise of all, the chosen card has a bullet hole through the center.. The deck can then be handed back to the spectator, and he/she can verify that the chosen card, with the bullet hole, is the ONLY chosen card in the deck

(alternative handling… allow the spectator to look through the deck and find his chosen card without handing it back to the magician.. This is a more direct method, but handing the deck back to the magician allows him time to summarize and dramatize the effect..

Secret: Three basic sleights are used during the effect.. a palm, a riffle or hindu force, and the ability to control a card to the top of the deck..

Begin the effect with two identical cards, one which will be force and one with a bullet hole. To create the bullet hole, take a pencil or similiar object and put it through the center of the card. I like to burn the edges of the hole with a cigarette or lighter to add realism. Place the card with the hole in the deck near the bottom. Put the other card wherever to need to place it to force it..

Begin the effect by forcing the force card. Have the card put into the deck and control it to the top. Don’t worry about the card with the hole, except hold the deck in a manner that will not expose the holed card should it work its way to the bottom..

During a moment of reflection, palm the top card, which is the forced card, and simultaneously hand the deck to the spectator with one hand as you put your other hand (with the palmed card) into your pants pocket, announcing that you have a pistol in your pocket which you ae going to use to assist you in finding the chosen card..

Have the spectator hold the deck at arms length to their side as you go through the process of taking aim and firing at the deck.. It goes without saying that whatever type of firearm you use.. it should not be a REAL firearm and should present NO DANGER to the audience what-so-ever. Even firearms that fire ‘blanks’ can cause great harm if they strike someone from a close distance. There are pistols that can be bought in toy stores that fire ‘caps’, which are strictly noise makers, and are ideal for this type effect.

The trick is complete at this point. The forced card is in your pocket, and the card with the bullet hole is somewhere in the deck. All that remains is picking the method of finding the card that suits you and your style. As I said earlier, I like to take the deck from the spectator, as it gives me time to review my actions and extend the effect.


Take a blank card about the size of an index card. Pull it from your pocket and write a number on it’s front and place it back in your pocket. Ask someone to take a one dollar bill from their pocket and read the date aloud. Take the card from your pocket and show that you wrote the same date on the card..

Secret: All dollar bills in normal circulation are dated either 1995 or 1999. Have one of these dates already written on the back of the card. Write the other date on the front of the card in the presence of the spectator.. ( but don’t let them see what you write..)

When the date is called… remove the card and show them whichever side has the proper ‘prediction’.. They’ll never figure it out…

You can turn this into a much larger, more sophisticated effect based on the knowledge, but little known fact, that dollars are dated ’95 or ’99. Dollars were also made in 1988 and 1993, but very few are still in normal circulation…
Nuts !

Performer takes a walnut, hammer, and knife and carefully opens the walnut shell. Then a card, let’s say the seven of hearts, is folded and put inside the shell. The walnut shell is carefully glued back together to conceal any evidence of tampering. It’s not a bad idea to make three or four of these gimmicked shells at one setting, using the same card, seven of hearts, in all the shells.

During a performance the performer forces a seven of hearts to a spectator, using whatever his/her favorite force may be. The performer cuts the deck as has the seven returned to the deck, catching a pinkie break above the seven. Bring the seven to the top and then riffle shuffle a couple of times while maintaining the position of the seven on top of the deck.

Holding the deck in the left hand, the performer places his right hand over the top of the deck while he tells the spectator that he is going to find his card in a very unusual way. Pushing the top card slightly forward with his middle three fingers, the performer presses down on the upper edge of this card causing the back of the card to rise upward into the palm. Now, with the top card in a palmed position, he hands the deck to the spectator with his left hand while quickly spiriting the palmed card to his pants or jacket pocked where he leaves the palmed card and produces a common inexpensive ‘nut cracker’.

The performer tells the spectator that he is afraid things are going to get a little crazy, and that the nut cracker may be needed to help find the chosen card.

Laying the nut cracker on the table, the performer ask the spectator to kindly look through the deck, remove his card, and be careful to not let him see it.

After a couple of passes through the deck, the spectator must admit that he/she cannot find their chosen card.
The performer says that IF the spectator is quite sure the card is NOT in the deck, then its time to look elsewhere.
The performer points out a small paper cup, turned upside down, on the table and asks the spectator if he noticed the cup. Regardless, the performer asks the spectator to look under the cup since he (the performer) doesn’t want to affect the outcome of the magic. After turning over the cup and finding a single walnut, the spectator is asked to take the nut cracker and open the nut – revealing the missing, chosen card. If the performer prepared several nuts, they can all be placed under a cup and the spectator can have his pick of any one of the nuts.

Of course, you can use any type of container or box, locked box, nested boxes, or even a balloon to conceal the walnut. You can also use a two-way bag with prepared walnuts in one side and regular walnuts in the other side. After allowing the spectator to reach in a pick one of the prepared nuts, the performer can then empty the regular nuts onto the table and have several opened to show that only one walnut contained the chosen card..

I’ll Name that Card in One..

You produce a normal deck of playing cards and ask a spectator to cut the deck anywhere they like. They remove the card they’ve cut to without letting you see it and concentrate on its design. After a few moments concentration, you announce the exact card they’ve chosen. You have read their mind!

You’ll need a normal deck of cards but you need to arrange them in a special order. Mentalists refer to this as a stacked deck. One of the easiest methods of stacking a deck is the Si Stebbins system. In this system, each card has a value; a jack is valued 11, a queen 12 and a king 13. All the other cards take their respective value, with an ace valued 1. The suits are also arranged in the order clubs, hearts, spades, diamonds. The easiest way to remember this is by the word ‘chased’:

Clubs Hearts Spades Diamonds.

Start with any club, then for the next card in the stack add 3 to its value and make it a heart. For the next card, add 3 again and make it a spade. For the next card, add 3 again and make it a diamond.
When you’re adding 3 to 11, 12 or 13, subtract 13 to get the value of the next card. The system repeats like this until the whole deck is stacked.

For instance, if you started with the 3 of clubs (3C), the stacked order would be: 3C, 6H, 9S, QD, 2C, 5H, 8S and so on.

Place the cards face up as you stack them. When displaying the deck to your spectator, make sure you fan them and let them see the faces. Don’t make a point of this – just fan them as you say “normal deck of cards”. Whatever you do, don’t say “As you can see, they’re in no particular order!” Statements like this should be implied nonverbally. This is important later on, if the spectator tries to ‘reconstruct’ the trick and work out how it was done. If they can remember you casually spreading the cards, they’ll discount any theories about the deck being in a special order or perhaps all the same card.

Put the stacked deck face down on the table and invite a spectator to cut the deck anywhere they like. Get them to place the top half of the deck face down next to the bottom half. Invite them to take the top card from the bottom deck and keep it secret. Pickup up the bottom half of the deck, place it on the top half and then pick up the whole deck.

You now need to glance at the bottom card on the deck and there are a couple of ways of doing this.

You can either put the cards back into their box, casually glancing at the bottom card as you do so.

Better still, hold the deck in front of you, as if demonstrating to the spectator how to hold their card.

Either method will need a simple verbal misdirection such has “Now hold your card up, still keeping it secret and concentrate on the design.” As they concentrate, ask them to look into your eyes. Pretend you are looking for subtle psychological clues as to the value of their card. Look at micro-movements in their facial muscles also. All you need to do to name their card is work out the next one in the sequence.

So if the bottom card was the ace of hearts, their card is the four of spades. Rather than just simply naming their card, increase the drama and effect of mind-reading by revealing it bit by bit. The color first, then whether it is a low, high or picture card.

Then name the card in full. To really play with the system, you can subtly suggest that you are about to read the wrong card. For instance, if the spectator’s card is the nine of clubs, you might reveal it in the following way:

“OK, it’s a black card, yes?” Look for visual confirmation.

“I’m getting an ‘i’ … ‘i’ … five … a five? No, sounds like five – its a nine, yes?”

“Definitely not a spade so it must be the nine of clubs!”

Another method of revealing the chosen card is to draw it on a notepad. Keep your drawing hidden, then invite the spectator to turn around their card and announce the design. You can then flip over your notepad, revealing the same design.

This is a terrific routine and with a little thought, the Si Stebbins stack can be used for many other mind reading effects. What’s more, the stack is instantly ready to use again simply by putting the spectator’s chosen card on top of the deck face down.

After revealing these first two effects, I want to address something you might be feeling…


If you’re disappointed to discover you’re not divining the chosen card by reading body language or subtle facial expressions, get used to it! This is the way all mind reading illusions work.

If it were genuinely possible to read a person’s innermost thoughts, feelings or memories in that way, then the performer would be decades ahead of the greatest psychologists in the field. It is all an illusion. You need to sell the idea to your audience and volunteers through your performance.

The Knife Thru the Jacket..

This effect, although having been performed for many years, was first published by Joe “Ballard” Taylor – as best as I can tell.

The magician takes a jacket from a spectator, and casually hangs it on the back of a folding chair. The chair should be facing the magician, with the back of the chair facing the audience. This way the back of the jacket, when draped over the chair, will be facing the audience as well. The chair, of course, must have either slats or an opening in it’s back for the knife to pass thru..

Magician takes a large knife, generally a table or ‘butter’ knife, ( one without a sharp point) and has it verified as being the real thing. Announce that you are going to spare the jackets owner the trauma of seeing a knife thrust thru his jacket as you reach for a piece of newspaper, about 12 inches by 12 inches, with a one inch or so fold in the top of the newspaper facing the magician and not visible to the audience.

Standing to the right of the chair, as the audience see’s it, magician holds the paper with his left hand, fingers at the top with three fingers on the outside of the paper and the index finger and thumb pinching the fold with the thumb on the underside of the fold.

The paper is held above the jacket as the magician takes the knife, holds it up again for the audience to see, and places it behind the jacket, out of sight of the audience, and presses the handle of the knife into the jacket and announces that he is going to pass the knife through the jacket at precisely that point.

The audience is to assume the point of the knife is pressing into the jacket, but for the benefit of the jackets owner, you can just as easily tilt the knife downward and use your finger to poke the jacket, asking the audience if they can see the point almost protruding thru the jacket.

The magician then raises the knife from behind the jacket, making sure the newspaper is held at the top of the jacket so the next move is concealed from view. The knife, concealed by the paper, is raised until the point of the knife makes contact with the underside of the fold in the newspaper at a spot where you can then pinch the point of the knife with your index finger and thumb, secretly transferring the knife to your left hand and held behind the newspaper by it’s point. You can push downward on the fold so the knife is not actually parallel to the floor, but in a more handle-down position, helping conceal the knife behind the newspaper.

The paper is lowered until it’s about mid-back of the jacket, then moved toward the jacket , pressing the handle of the knife into the jacket so the magician can then grasp the handle through the fabric with his right hand.

Now, in a simultaneous move, the magician pulls back on the knife with his right hand and then thrust it forward, at the same time pushing the newspaper onto the point of the knife. The knife is pushed as far as possible thru the newspaper without giving away the secret, then the magician brings his right hand around front and pulls the knife the rest of the way thru the newspaper.

After apologies are made, the magician reveals the unharmed jacket…

Note: the size of the newspaper can vary depending on the size of the knife. It needs to be large enough to conceal the knife.. but small enough so you can see ‘jacket’ completely around the paper when the paper is held at mid-back. The illusion, of course, is that you did not secretly pass the knife either around, over, or under the jacket under concealment of the newspaper.

This effect, although having been performed for many years, was first published by Joe “Ballard” Taylor – as best as I can tell – on MagicDan’s web site..

~ High Five ~

This is one of my ‘personal’ effects, with a special tip of the hat to Annemann, and I shouldn’t tell ANYONE this secret, for any amount. But here goes..

Have a spectator take a deck of cards and shuffle until his hearts content. Then, have him spread the deck, face down, on the table. Ask him to very carefully, taking his time, pick one card from the face down pack and keep it’s value hidden from everyone, including himself.

Now, produce five identical envelopes. The type of envelopes used, ideally, should be the type that normally come with gift cards or Hallmark cards, as these are usually about equal in heigth and length. You can use normal business envelopes if you can’t readily locate the Hallmark type. Just make sure you can’t see through the envelopes.

Fan the envelopes and ask the spectator to select any one. Then, have the spectator secretly look at his card, place it inside the envelope, and seal it.

Now, ask the spectator to push four indifferent cards from the deck. You now take a card, put it in an envelope, seal it, and repeat until all the cards are fairly sealed in envelopes.

Hand the five envelopes to the spectator, ask him to inspect each envelope to make sure there are no markings whatsoever on any of the envelopes. Ask him to thoroughly mix and then stack the envelopes, one upon the other, to form a stack of five.

Once done, you will pick up each envelope, hold it to your forehead, and sit it to one side until all five envelopes have been ‘mentally scanned’. At the right moment, you will pick from among the five envelopes the ONE containing the spectators card…

Quite simple actually. Watch the spectator carefully as they put their selected card in the envelope. If they put the card inside the envelope laying on it’s side, you put your four cards in the envelope standing up… and vice versa. With the right envelopes, it’s easy to tell by feel which envelope contains the one ‘odd’ card when it’s placed to your forehead…

Be creative. That’s the key to a great performance. For instance, you can give the spectator a pen or Sharpie and ask them to write the name of a deceased pet on the face of the card. As you hold the cards to your forehead, channel the pet to help you find the card. Or, ask them to write the name of a deceased President.

Start with six envelopes, five white and one blue. Tell the spectator what you’re going to do, then hand the spectator the blue envelope to put their card in. A little comic relief…

You can also vary the performance by using six envelopes and asking the spectator to remove six cards from the deck; three red and three black. After all the envelopes are inspected, have the spectator keep three cards of one color, and give you the other three. Have him place his cards in three of the envelopes while you place your three in the other three envelopes. As above, watch how he places his cards in the envelopes, and you do the opposite. I’ll guarantee you he will place all three cards in his envelopes the same way… either side down, or bottom down..
but most likely side down. After the envelopes are inspected again for uniformity and thoroughly mixed, you reveal, one by one, whether each envelope contains a red card or black card…

The Card From The Pocket
( A C.O.Williams classic, with a little help from R.Carruth )

This is one of those classic effects that many of todays popular effects are based upon. Many magicians have a natural fear of palming, and avoid tricks that involve palming at all cost. It’s simply a matter of confidence. And the Card From the Pocket is the perfect effect to help gain the confidence you need to make palming an integral part of your routining.

Give a deck to a spectator and ask that it be shuffled until no one could possibly know the location of any card. Turn your back to the spectator and ask that they think of a number, any number, between two and twenty. Once done, have them count down to that number card, look at it, remember it, and place the deck back together.

Turn around and remark to the spectator that there is no way that you could possibly know their card, as you did not touch the deck after it was shuffled by the spectator. Ask for the deck and place it behind your back. Put both hands behind your back and appear to be in deep concentration. I like to ask the spectator to think of their card as I stare into their eyes.

Take the bottom card off the deck, this being the 52nd card as the spectator held the deck. Bring the deck around to the forefront in your left hand, and a single card, formerly the bottom card, held face down in your right hand.

Comment that with any luck, you have correctly removed from the deck the chosen card, and that you are going to put it in your pants pocket until the ‘magical moment’. Take your right hand and the selected card, thrust it into your trouser pocket, and announce ” It’s done..”

Now, the dirty work. In your pocket, put the card in the palm position, and bring your hand, and the palmed card, out at the same instant that you look your spectator directly in the eyes and ask “Would you say your card was a high card, low card, or somewhere in the middle?” Asking a question as you look them in the eyes will instinctively make them look at you as well. This provides just enough cover for you to rejoin the card in your right hand with the TOP of the deck held in your left hand.

Tip: Instead of placing the single card on top of the pack, place the pack UNDER the single card. If the spectator happens to look away from your gaze, they will look at the ‘movement’, and the movement in this case will be the hand with the deck, and NOT the hand with the palmed card.

All you’ve really done to this point is remove a card from the bottom of the pack, and replace it on top of the pack.

Now, ask the spectator to name the number he thought of. Lets say he chose twelve. Deliberately and fairly flip eleven cards onto the table, note that the twelfth card should be the chosen card, unless the card you have in your pocket is the chosen card. Lay the twelfth card on the table, face down, and ask the spectator to please check the card and see if it’s their chosen card.

As his focus’ is on the card on the table, push the top card slightly to the right and palm it. Since you put an additional card on top of the deck, the spectators card actually became the thirteenth card in the deck, the very card that you are about to palm and place into your pocket.

In the same instant that the spectator remarks that the card on the table is NOT his, you put your right hand, with the palmed card, into your trouser pocket, release it, re-grip it with just your thumb and forefinger, and bring it out of your pocket to show the world that you DID correctly remove the spectators card from the deck and place it ‘In The Pocket’.

The palming involved in this effect is well covered with a little patter and misdirection. The true key to this effect is in the timing… combining your palm move with natural movement and speech. I have no doubt that you can do this with a little practice. Once this effect is mastered, you’re ready for a whole new world of card magic.

Card to Wallet… ( without the Card and the Wallet )

This is just like the card to wallet effect, but without the card or the wallet. Huh?

Don’t ask questions guys, just follow along… Take a small, blank piece of paper and write the name of your favorite card on it. Now, take this piece of paper and put it in a card box, along with a deck of cards. Make sure to put the paper in the box so the deck can be removed and the paper left in the box unseen.

Have a small piece of double-sided tape on one side of the card box. Now, you’re set to perform.

Remove the deck from the box, leaving the paper in the box. Set the box casually to one side, as if it has nothing to do with the trick. You don’t want anyone paying any attention whatsoever to the box. You can now flip through the deck in order to remove the jokers, and bring the card you’ve wrote on the paper to the top. Or, you can already have the chosen card on top of the deck. Either way, you can now shuffle the deck a couple of times, leaving the top card in place.

Spread the deck and ask the spectator to remove one card from pack and place it on top of the pack without looking at it. Openly set the deck on the table.

Tell the spectator that you have made a prediction, and that with any luck, your prediction will match their chosen card, as you pick up the card box and set it on top of the deck with the double-sided tape down. Make SURE you set the box on top of the deck very squarely. Talk for a moment or two about the odds of what you are about to do, or talk about the weather or the Carolina Panthers … whatever.. just talk!

Reach down with your left hand and pick the box up with two fingers by pinching it on the sides, near the top flap. Bring it straight up, carrying the top card off the deck.. stuck to the double sided tape. Quickly move it into the palm of your right hand and close your fingers around the box, both concealing and securing the card that’s attached to the box.

Open the flap with your left hand and let the prediction slide out. Hand the prediction to the spectator as you set the box to one side or drop it in a pocket. By verbally focusing on the prediction and asking the spectator to focus on the prediction you are taking the box out of the equation.

Now, allow the spectator to both open the prediction and turn over the top card of the deck, which, of course, will match your prediction.

You can just as easily use a wallet for this effect, if you want. Or, use a book in which you’ve placed your prediction. If you use a book, you can place the book on top of the deck without making any mention of the prediction. Once the book is on top of the deck, THEN explain what you are about to do, opend the front cover of the book and remove the prediction, and then lift the book ( and the top card ) with one hand and set it to one side. The size and weight of a book makes this is a super easy …

Times 5

Here’s a nice little effect that can be performed as a table trick. You produce from your pocket two or three quarters and a sharpie. Ask the audience to search their pockets and help you garner five coins total. Quarters work well, if you can get five alltogether. If not, borrow nickle’s to go with the quarters. Regardless, make it appear as if you are casually trying to gather five coins for a trick.

Once the coins are on the table, begin openly marking each coin with a symbol of some sort. You can number them one thru five, or draw five different symbols, such as a square, a circle, a triangle, a wavy image, and a hexagon. Whatever is easier for you.

Take the five coins and either put them in a small glass or give them to a spectator to hold while you take a piece of paper a make a prediction. On the paper write your prediction and fold the paper and give it to a second spectator to hold. Now, you’re ready to begin…

After establishing that you are psychic, since your grandmother was a gypsie, tell the spectator holding the coins that you are going to eliminate the coins in as fair a manner as possible. Ask him to shake the coins in his hand/in the container and pour them onto the table. Any coin that does not have a symbol showing is eliminated and removed from the effect. Have the spec pick up the remaining coins and repeat the process, again eliminating any coins without a symbol.

Once all the coins are eliminated, except one, pick up the coin and show it to the spectators, asking them if they can see that the symbol on the coin is a “whatever it may be”.

Ask the spectator holding your prediction to open it – and reveal it to the rest of the spectators. It will match the sole remaining coin.

This effect works well with the proper patter, which is the difference between “Magic” and “just another trick”…

One of the coins you remove from your pocket is pre-marked with a symbol. It goes without saying that the audience is not allowed to see this. In your hand you can prevent anyone from seeing this coin, as you position them to be marked. You will also position the marked coin so you know exactly which one it is once you begin marking them.

The secret, of course, is to mark the marked coin with an identical symbol on the side the audience sees. This will be the only coin that, over time, never has a blank side showing, thus never eliminated. Make sure when marking the coins that you put some marks on the front and some on the back ( heads and tails sides ) so the audience is accustomed to seeing coins with marks on both sides…

Although it’s not necessary, I like to have a second coin in my other pocket with a mark on one side. While the spectator is tossing the coins, I remove the coin from my pocket and keep it palmed in my left hand. After I’ve shown the remaining coin to the audience, and during the moments when the attention is focused on the spectator opening the prediction, I switch the two coins and drop the coin with marks on both sides into my trouser pocket. Now, any of the spectators can examine the coins without fear of discovery. If one of the spectators gave me a quarter, I make it a point to return the chosen coin to them, so it can be casually seen to have a mark on one side only.

Feel free to use more than five coins, but I wouldn’t use less than five. Also, if you want to stretch the effect into a longer effect, use a small point marker and thirteen coins. Mark each coin with one of the numerical numbers of a deck of cards; A,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K. Use your favorite force to force a card and then reveal the numerical value of the card with your coins. There are many other possibilities. Use your imagination..

This basic principal has been around for many years and I cannot contribute it to any one magician.

My Book Test

Mentalism ‘book test’ are a dime a dozen. Well, not actually a dime a dozen – I saw one on eBay last week for $250.00 – but they ARE plentiful, although not cheap. I’m going to add my contribution to the fold, although my contribution is not actually mine, but that of Corinda, from his “Thirteen Steps to Mentalism”. I’m not going to quote Corinda, and I am going to add a couple of twist not seen in the original..

What I like about this particular effect is that it plays big or small, depending on where you’re performing. You can perform it at a dinner table or in front of a crowd of hundreds. Either way – it’s very effective.

First, inform your audience that although you try your best to be a decent kind of guy/lady, you cannot be trusted when it comes to revealing the results of an effect on which you’re staking your reputation. Admit that you realize the paradox in your statement, but to limit your temptation to fudge, you’re going to select a member of the audience to serve as the “Keeper of the Text”. Give that audience member the book you intent to use for your book test. It doesn’t matter what book you use, and popular and/or well known books work better than lesser know or obscure ones.

Take a piece of paper, whatever size you wish, and write three words on it, unseen by the audience. Fold the paper and place it to one side. If you’re performing on stage, you can write your words on a much larger poster board or the back of a chalk board. The only requirement is that your action assures the audience that your prediction cannot be tampered with before it’s revealed.

Pick up a second piece of paper, show it blank on both sides, and clip it to a clip board. Inform the audience that you are going to write three questions on the paper that they, the all-knowing audience, will answer. Write the following on the paper:

(A) Select a page number: ________

(B) Select a line number: ________

(C) Select 3 consecutive numbers between 1 and 12: ____ ____ ____

Once done, you’re ready to hand the clip board to a random member of the audience and ask them to fill in the first blank. Now, encourage them to pass the clip board to another audience member, and then another, until the clip board is some distance removed from the first audience member. Ask that audience member to fill in the second blank. Repeat the process until you get the clipboard into the hands of the third audience participant. Ask them to write in three consecutive numbers between one and twelve, such as one, two, and three, or ten, eleven, twelve.

Giving this example to the audience member is a good thing, as they may have a little trouble with the word ‘consecutive’. I’m not ‘dumbing down’ audience members, but when you put some folks in the spot light they get a little limpy..

Ask the third participant to take the paper off the clipboard. Ask them to fold the paper into until it’s about the size of a pack of matches, and then clip it to the clipboard and pass it back to you. Assure them that you cannot possibly see the answers on the folded paper.

While the paper is being folded, you should casually slip your off-hand into your trouser pocket. Once the clip board is on its way back, palm a piece of paper that looks suspiciously like the folded paper on the clip board, that has been patiently waiting in your pocket since you put it there before your performance began..

What’s on it? The page number, line number, and consecutive numbers of your prediction.

It’s now time for the little bit of ‘dirty work’. Assume the secret slip is in your left hand. Take the clip board in your right hand as it’s passed back and turn to walk to a table or some point where you’re going to lay the clip board. Turn and face the audience, clip board held in front of you about waist high and left hand at your side.

Reach up with your left hand and quickly pull the slip from the clip board. Since you’re facing the audience, this little move is primarily hidden by the clip board. Don’t look down. Look at the audience. As soon as you have removed the slip it goes into the palm of your hand on top of the secret slip. Believe me, as long as you’ve used the same paper to create both slips, no one will notice the dual slips in the palm of your hand.

Lay the clip board down and walk to the spectator chosen to hold the book. Although this next move may sound awkward.. it’s not. Reach into the palm of your left hand with your right forefinger and thumb and pull the slips toward the tips of your left hand forefinger and thumb, enabling you to pinch the slips with your thumb and finger tips. Again, by holding the slips tightly, no one will notice the two slips.

Now, we need to separate the two slips. This is accomplished with one simple move. Lay the slips into the right palm. This puts the secret slip on top and makes it simple to then reach into the palm with the left finger tips and pick up the secret slip and hand it to the spectator.

The audience saw you reach out with an empty right hand and take the clip board. They saw you reach up and pull the slip off the clip board with your left hand (sort of..), and they saw the slip at the tip of your left fingers as you, I hope, gestured with your empty right hand as you talked to the audience and the spectator with the book. They have NO reason to suspect a switch as you place the slips in your empty right hand and then reach back with your left hand and remove the secret slip.

As soon as you removed the secret slip, your right hand, palming the audiences’ slip, should naturally fall to your side. I’m not going to discuss ditching this slip, as you don’t have to, although you can certainly find ample opportunity to do so before your predictions are revealed..

Ask the spectator with the book to please open the slip, look up the page number, line number, and three selected words, and read those three words aloud. If you wrote your prediction on a poster board or chalk board, you can now recap the series of events and reveal your answer to the audience. If you wrote your prediction on a piece of paper, I would have gingerly hand it to an audience member, recap, and ask them to unfold it and read it aloud..

One of the keys to good mentalism is to NOT treat effects like this as sleight of hand. The audience is not expecting sleight of hand, so don’t make it appear that you are performing sleight of hand. Be casual, comfortable, and confident, and the audience will respond in kind..


Special Thanks to Jack McMillen and Danny Archer for the workings to this nice mental magic card effect. When I’m looking at effects to complement my meager routines, one of my first requirements is that the effect contain a ‘twist’ of some sort. The proper twist will cover a multitude of ineptness..

‘Mind Mirror’ will require a simple stack. Get all of the cards of one suit to the top of the deck. They don’t need to be in any particular order. All you need to know is the suit and value of the top card.

Personally, I use a faro shuffle, and I will shuffle the deck a time or two even though the top thirteen cards are in place. I simply shuffle deep enough to avoid changing the order of these cards. If done casually enough, no one will noticed what you’re doing.

Ask the spectator to close their eyes and visualize the face of a clock. Tell them that you will not try to influence them in any way, but you want them to select one number on the face of the clock. Once done, hand the spectator the deck and ask them to please follow your directions as you turn your back toward them.

Ask them to ‘quietly’ count off, and put on the table, one card after another until they have put down a number of cards equal to their selected number. ( eg… If they selected a six, they will put six cards face down on the table.). Now, ask them to look at the top card of the DECK, and tell them they can show it to others as well. Once done, put it back on top of the deck, pick up the six cards on the table, and put them back on top of the deck as well..

Turn around, point to the deck, and ask them to cut the deck so the top cards will be buried somewhere in the middle. Ask them to cut the cards a second time, and then a third. Ask them if they are convinced that you could not possibly know the location of the selected card.

( If you are not sure that the spectator will perform a simple cut, then you can perform the first cut, complete it, and then ask the spectator to cut the cards a second and third time. Once you’ve shown the spectator how you want them to cut the cards, chances are they will follow your example.)

” I’ve watched you cut the cards and I’m convinced that you have buried the card so deep into the deck that there’s no way I could possibly know where it is… but that isn’t good enough. I was thinking about this effect as I was on the way here tonight and it brought to mind a book I recently read about Houdini.”

“You know, Houdini earned his reputation by going a step farther than any other magician in his day. And, I decided that if this effect was to be truly Houdini-like in it’s effect on my audience that I was going to have to add a little extra twist…”

” I’m sure you’ve seen magician’s have a card put into the deck, have the deck cut, and the magician magically find the card. Well, what you probably don’t know is.. cutting the deck doesn’t actually change the position of the chosen card, in relation to all the other cards, as much as you think. The only thing that really stirs the brew is this…” And you pick up the deck and perform a riffle shuffle..”

“That’s what Houdini would do.. But I’m not sure if even good ol’ Harry would have done this..”

And you pick up the deck and perform yet a second riffle shuffle..

” I haven’t seen the face of a single card. Actually, aside from my two shuffles, I didn’t touch the deck during this effect. You performed all the important moves..”

Turn the deck face up and ribbon spread the deck onto the table.

” I’m going to slowly move my finger up and down the length of these cards, and as I do I’m going to look at your face for the slightest hint, the slightest indication, that I am close to your card.”

Move your finger the length of the ribbon spread and watch the spectator intently. They won’t give you any indication of the chosen card, but when you spot the card that was on top of the deck before the trick began, the spectators card will be the next card – of the same suit – to the RIGHT of that card.

“As I passed a certain card I saw your left eye flutter. As I passed that card again, I saw your lips tighten ever so slightly. Although this is not a proven science, the FBI thinks so highly of the technology of subconscious transference that they have six full-time agents that do nothing but analyze this so-called science..”

Now, reveal the identity of the chosen card..

When the spectator counts off the number of cards matching his selected number, the top card will become the bottom card of those on the table. The spectator looks at the top card of the deck, replaces it, picks up the small stack on the table and puts this stack on top of the deck, and now the card you know… is one card above the spectators chosen card.

If you perform two half-way decent shuffles, no other cards of the same suit should find their way between these two cards. I’ve performed this effect many times, and Danny Archer says he’s performed it for fifteen years, without a slip-up.
An Undeniable Truth

I have a problem with most standard self-working card tricks. Try as I might, I can’t convince my spectator’s that they’ve just witnessed a small miracle. Many self-working card tricks look like just that.. something that would have happened without any magic from me. Here’s a really nice effect that possesses the perfect combination of amazement and impossibility to leave your spectators totally bemused..

This effect is a type of poker deal and requires you to deal five hands.. one each to four different spectators and one to yourself.

Begin by shuffling the deck thoroughly and fairly, then asking a spectator to cut it to their hearts content. Start on your left and deal five hands of five cards each. Once done, ask each spectator to pick up their hand, look at it, and MENTALLY pick out one card. Now, ask them to shuffle their packet so thoroughly that no one has a clue where their card lies in the five card stack. Ask them to lay their hand back on the table, face down, when they’re convinced their cards are well mixed.

Pick up the hand to your immediate left and put it on top of the deck, face down. Proceed around the table and pick up each of the other hands, in order and one at a time, and put them on top as well. Finish by putting your hand on top.

From left to right, deal out five stacks of five cards, just as you would deal five poker hands. These stacks are controlled by you and not dealt to the spectators. Pick up the first stack to your left, fan it open, and show it to the four spectators. Ask if any of the spectators see their card in your hand. If they do, they are only to say “yes”.

Let’s say the spectator second from the left see’s his/her card. If you close the fan and, holding the cards with the backs up, count down two cards, that will be the card that the second spectator mentally selected. If the fourth spectator said they saw their card, their’s will be the fourth card down. Just remember to hold the hand with the ‘backs up’ and not ‘face up’. If no one saw their card, you can drop the hand on top of the deck as it won’t be needed any longer.

Once the spectator(s) have told you they saw their card, close the fan, turn it upside down, and put it under the table. Thumb down to the number that matches the spectator and take that card out of the hand and toss it toward the spectator, still face down. Ask them to not look at it yet..

Work you way thru all the hands, or until you have found all the necessary cards, and put all the remaining cards onto the top of the deck. Not each hand will have a spectators card, and some hands may have multiple spectators cards. But regardless, the location of the card in the face down hand will always match the position of the spectator.

You can do this blindfolded..

Now, all that’s left to do is ask the spectator’s, in turn, to name their mentally selected card and turn over the card in front of them, revealing the perfect match.

It’s the thorough shuffling of the mentally selected card into the hand that throws the spectators off. Without the shuffling, this could have passed for just another self-working mathematical trick.

I’ve given you the basic workings, and you can easily use this principle to develop your own ‘reveal’.

“Thanks” to Frank Garcia and George Schindler for the idea..

Sonic Switch

The Effect:
The magician begins with two decks of cards on the table; one blue back and one red back. After calling someone from the audience to assist, the magician ask the spectator to name a card. Lets say the Six of Hearts was named. The magician then looks through each deck and removes the chosen card from each. The red-backed card is then openly placed on top of the blue-backed deck. The blue-backed card is placed on top of the redbacked deck. This is done very fairly, and the magician can show that each deck is exactly what it’s proposed to be…

Both decks are then undercut to bury the odd-backed Six of Hearts into the middle of the deck.

Now, the magician does what good magicians do, and performs a little hocus pocus with the intent of making the odd backed cards travel back to their mates… without touching the decks.

After waving his hand over the decks, they are each spread to show that there are NO odd backed cards in either deck. The magician then flips each deck over, face side up, and looks for the Six of Hearts, removing each from the deck, one at a time, and showing that it’s back matches the deck it’s in..

The Method:
With the decks laying face-down on the table to begin the effect, you need a Joker on the bottom of each deck. Each Joker should have a couple of strips of double sided tape stuck to it’s face. Make sure when sitting the decks on the table that you sit them down gently, so as to prevent the Jokers from sticking securely to the table.

When the odd-backed Six of Hearts is placed on top of each deck, and then undercut, the Joker is placed on top of the Six. Make sure the deck is squared nicely. Put a little pressure on the deck to make sure the Joker and Six stick together firmly.

(You can also perform this effect with a little magicians wax, instead of double-sided tape.)

Now, the trick is self-working from this point on. You can spread the deck now and show that all the backs match, as well as flip the deck and find the Six of Hearts, remove it from the deck and flash the back to show that it’s color matches the rest of the deck. Of course, you’re actually showing the back of the Joker stuck to the back of the Six… but I won’t tell if you don’t.

I’m not sure who to credit this effect to.. as I can trace it back to the Linking Ring, September 1952.

My Card to Pocket – ( A closely guarded secret – until now )

The magician has a card freely selected ( no force ), and the spectator is given a Sharpie and asked to sign the face of the card. The card is returned to the top of the deck and the deck is cut several times by either the magican or the spectator, or both.

The magician now tells the spectator that he intends to do two things: make the signed card disappear from the deck and then reappear in another location.

The magician turns the deck face up and begins to thumb through the deck, asking the spectator to look for his signed card. After thumbing completely through the deck, the spectator admits that his card is no longer in the deck.

Reaching into his coat pocket, the magician slowly pulls a card from his pocket, showing it’s back, and drops it onto the top of the deck. The magician comments that finding the spectators card in the deck would probably be easier if , unlike the magician, you’re working with a full deck.

After a few awkward moments, the magician asks the spectator if they would like to see the face of the top card, and after a ‘yes’, the magician flips the top card over to reveal the spectators signature on the face.

Two things are needed to make this effect a cinch.. a small piece of double-stick tape ( tape sticky on both sides) and a double backed gaffed card matching your decks back. Double stick tape can be bought at most craft stores, like Michaels and Hobby Lobby. A double backed gaff card can be bought at most magic shops, or you can make your own by glueing two cards face to face. The two jokers are ideal for this purpose. Use rubber cement as your first choice of adhesive, preferred over white glues and super glue. You can also use two pieces of double-sided tape to hold the jokers together as well..

Begin with a small piece of tape on the back of the top card of the deck. Hold the deck to prevent the tape from being seen. The piece of tape should be no larger than the ball of your thumb, so you can conceal the tape with your thumb if you want..

Also, have the double-sided card comfortably in your shirt or jacket pocket.

Spread the cards between your hands and ask the spectator to select any card. It’s not important that you know what card is selected. After they look at it and show it to others, reach for the card and casually place it on top of the deck. Lay it on top gently, make sure it’s squared properly, and put a little pressure with your thumb to the middle of the card to make sure it sticks securely to the card underneath.

Cut the deck. Cut it a second and third time and ask the spectator if they want to cut it a couple of times as well. Once everyone is convinced the card is lost in the deck, flip the deck over, face side up, and ask the spectator to look for their signed card as you slowly thumb the cards from your left hand into your right, with each card going UNDER the previously thumbed card.

Stop briefly a time or two to casually square the cards held in your right hand. When you ‘feel’ the double card pass through your fingers to the right hand, stop again and square the portion of the deck in your right hand. You can simplify this by knowing the identity of the card you stuck the double-stick tape to the back of, and simply look for that card. From this point on, thumb cards onto the TOP of the right hand packet to preserve the double cards position on the bottom.

When you’ve reached the last card, comment that you didn’t see a card with a signature, as you square the deck and flip it back over to the face down position. The double card will now be on top of the deck.

Now you’re set to tell the spectator of the card in your shirt pocket, remove it, and place it on top of the deck. The ‘awkward’ moment I mentioned is just a moment for you to get your finger tip or thumb tip under both the double backed card and the selected card. You’re going to pull the selected card loose from the card underneath, and turn the selected card and the double backed card over as one.

Personally, I separate the cards at the upper left hand corner with my forefinger, and slowly flip the cards over, sort of like opening a book by it’s BACK cover. I use my LEFT thumb to hold down the edge of the card that the selected card is stuck to, making it easier to un-stick the two. Then I let the cards slide right back onto the top of the deck in one fluid motion. Now, the signed card is laying on top of the deck, face up.
To the spectator.. it looks as if I simply flipped the top card over…

Now I can immediately take this card off the top of the deck and hand it to the spectator for inspection. The card underneath will appear face down, just as I have come to expect from a double-sided card!

But.. one more little subtlety.. Pressing on the center of the deck again will stick the double-sided card to the back of the card that the selected card WAS stuck to.. Now, you can quickly take the top card and show it as being an indifferent card, show the next couple of cards as well, sort of saying.. “look at all these cards, everythings normal…”

The magic is complete.

Note: Double faced tape works best when it’s not TOO sticky. You will want to place the tape onto the back of a card beforehand and then repeatedly stick your finger to it to make it less sticky. Practice the separation several times to make sure the card doesn’t pull loose with a ‘snap’ sound. You want the separation to be totally quiet.

You can stick a couple of pieces of double-sided tape to the underside of the flip top of a pack of cards. One can be easily removed when needed, then peeled from the back of the card and put back into the card case when finished..

The ideal of using a double-backed card to facilitate a ‘card to pocket’ effect is based partly on an effect Doug Dougherty presented in The Linking Ring, June 1981. Double-sided tape was not used, and the signed card could not be shown to have ‘vanished’ from the deck. I feel my additions have made a good effect stronger… JMHO

Simple Prediction

I remember one of the very first ‘mentalism’ effects I learned as a young neophyte; It was a ‘prediction in the envelope’ effect that was total simplicity. It’s effects like this that inspire more complex and compelling effects from the many fertile minds in magic. It’s those special ‘little’ moments that create mankinds truly startling theories and inventions. Who could have predicted that an apple falling from a tree would lead to the understanding of gravity. Or, a key and a kite would help unfold the secret of electricity.

Maybe a card in an envelope will help inspire mentalism’s greatest effect…

The magician gives the deck to a spectator and ask them to look at the faces of the cards to assure that they are all different. Then, the spectator is to shuffle the deck thoroughly. Once the deck is mixed, the spectator can leave it as it is, or look at the back of the cards and move one to the top of the deck.

The magician then places a small envelope – one that has been sitting to one side – on top of the deck. After the appropriate chatter, the magician ask the spectator to lift and open the envelope, remove the prediction inside, and read it aloud.

The spectator is then asked to turn over the top card of the deck, and the prediction and the top card are found to match.

All that’s required is for the magician to put a prediction in an envelope and remove that predicted card from the deck. The card is carefully kept out of sight, under the envelope on the table. When the magician lifts the envelope to place it on top of the deck, he also lifts the card and secretly places it on top of the deck, concealed from sight by the envelope.

Everything is totally self-working from this point forward. The prediction is in the envelope and the card matching the prediction in on top of the deck. The spectator, of course, thinks that he controlled the top card to that position.

All that remains is the reveal..

One Ahead – Card Effect

One of the favorite techniques of mentalists and mental magicians is the ‘one ahead’. I’m sure many of you may be familiar with this, but I’m going to detail it anyway!
The Magician takes a normal deck of cards and hands it to a spectator with instructions to shuffle it thoroughly. Once the deck has been shuffled, the magician takes the deck back and makes it a point to secretly glimpse the bottom card.

Tell the spectator, with a smile, that to make sure they didn’t secretly stack the deck that you’re going to also mix the cards a little. Use an overhand shuffle, or something similar, to bring the bottom card to the top of the deck.

Give the deck back to the spectator and ask them to create four fairly even stacks on the table. Once done, give them a pencil and a small piece of paper and tell them that you are going to attempt to make four predictions.. the top card of each stack.

Remind them again how they thoroughly shuffled the deck, then you shuffled the deck even more, without looking at the face of the cards. Then, remind them that the deck was divided into four stacks and that you had no influence over the stacks.

If you watched carefully, you know which of the four stacks came from the top of the deck. Since you moved the bottom card to the top, you know the top card of this stack. This is the card that’s going to be the basis of your ‘one ahead’..

Let’s assume the known card is the six of hearts. Tell the spectator, ” Write this card down..”, then think very hard and announce that you see the “six of hearts..” Pick up the top card off any of the stacks, other than the one with
the six of hearts on top, and peek at it, but DON’T allow the spectator to see it.. Place it back and say ” Outstanding!” Implying, of course, that you just verified to yourself that it was indeed the six of hearts.

Repeat this senario a second time, this time naming the card you saw when you peeked at the first stack. If we assume you saw the two of diamonds, you’ll look at the second stack and say ” Write this down.. the two of diamonds”. You will then privately look at the card on top of the second stack and say ” Absolutely unbelievable..”

Looking at the second stack gives you the denomination of the third card you’re going to call out when you look at the third stack and say ” Write this down, the ___ of ___”. Peek at the top card on the third stack and say ” Am I good, or what..”

Now, you’re ready to look at the fourth stack, the stack where you actually know the top card ( 6 of hearts) and say, “Write this down.. the ___ of ___”. Actually, you already know that the top card of this stack is the six of hearts but you’ll call it as the card that was on top of the third stack. Repeat your peek and say proudly.. “Copperfield, eat your heart out..”

Now, to verify that you were correct, pick up two of the top cards, one with your right hand and one with your left.. and turn them face up, tossing them onto the table. Quickly pick up the two top cards off the top of the other two stacks and flip them over onto the table as well. Done quickly, this will prevent the spectator from realizing exactly which card came off the top of which stack..

They spectator can now look at all four cards and verify that the four cards you predicted are all there, face up on the table.. Your work is done..

This principle can be used in a number of ways, limited only by your imagination. In this case, the spectator may think that your looking at the top cards is a little suspicious, but they know that THEY cut the deck into four stacks, so how could you possibly know the denomination of ANY of the cards.

A second very easy way, and truly puzzling way, to perform the above effect is once the deck is handed back to the spectator, after you moved the six of hearts to the top, is to ask the spectator to deal a card onto the table. They will undoubtly, and without thinking, deal the top card onto the table.. it’s only natural.

Now, ask them to flip through the deck and deal a second card ‘at random’ onto the table, then a third and a fourth, from ANYWHERE in the deck. In the spectators mind, they have dealt four totally random cards onto the table.

You then perform exactly as above, predicting and peeking at one card at a time, and saving the six of hearts until last. Now. gather all four cards into one small packet and flip them over onto the table face up. The spectator will not know which card was in what order, only that the four cards on the table match the four you predicted…

You WILL be accused of using a marked deck, so be prepared to alleviate that arguement.

Oh, if only all good tricks were so simple…


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Rick Carruth / Editor

Professor – Camelard College of Conjuring of Chemmis, Egypt

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” Albert Einstein